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House backs bill for economic development on Pueblo trust land

By a voice vote, the House on Monday passed H.R.1556, a bill that will allow the 19 Pueblo tribes of New Mexico to use the Santa Fe Indian School for economic development.

Congress placed the SFIS campus in trust for the tribes under Public Law 106-568. The law states that the land must be used for "educational, health, or cultural purposes."

H.R.1556 amends the law in a key way. It allows the land to be used for "economic development projects" that benefit the school.

The tribes run the school through the All Indian Pueblo Council. Parts of the property have already been razed, presumably to make way for economic development projects.

"The fact that SFIS is located in a city that was recently recognized as the number one tourist city in the nation increases our economic viability to a higher level, thereby improving SFIS’ prospects for long-term economic growth and benefit," Everett F. Chavez, the school's superintendent, told the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs last September.

Get the Story:
Bill would aid development at Santa Fe Indian School (The Santa Fe New Mexican 6/19)

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