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A view of the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico. Photo: Ian McKellar
New Mexico Indian Affairs Department presents budget request
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Indianz.Com

The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department is presenting its fiscal year 2022 budget request to state lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon.

The request recommends keeping the department’s operating budget at the current level of funding in order to continue efforts with the 23 tribal nations in New Mexico. Secretary Lynn Trujillo said $3.7 million will be used for special project grants, early childhood education grants and tobacco cessation and prevention grants.

“The Indian Affairs Department continues to work collaboratively with our sister agencies and tribal governments to bring resources and support to our tribal communities and people,” said Trujillo, who is a citizen of the Pueblo of Sandia.

“I remain hopeful that the New Mexico Legislature will agree with the executive recommendation from DFA (Department of Finance and Administration) and maintain our budget for FY22,” said Trujillo, who also has ancestry from the Pueblo of Acoma and the Pueblo of Taos.

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The hearing takes place at 1:30 PM Mountain Time before the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. Participants can join via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87166668598

New Mexico is home to 19 Pueblo tribes, the Navajo Nation and three Apache tribes. The state celebrated their contributions during American Indian Day last week.

“The tradition of honoring New Mexico’s 23 tribes, nations, and pueblos during the legislative session goes back several years,” Truillo said in a statement on February 5. “Thanks to the late-Senator John Pinto, our state continues to recognize the tremendous contributions of native people. Indian Day has always focused on the recognition of the inherent sovereign status of tribal governments. And through this recognition, the need to continually renew and strengthen government-to-government collaboration.”

“Today’s Indian Day celebration is bittersweet,” Trujillo continued. “While more and more people are receiving the vaccine, we look back at a year in which every family and community lost people to the COVID virus. It was a year in which we all had to make sacrifices in order to slow the spread and mitigate the epidemic. The toll that this public health crisis has taken on our tribal communities has been immense.”

“Through it all, we have remained strong and resilient as native people and as New Mexicans. The lessons passed down from our ancestors continue to guide us and fortify us,” Trujillo added. “Our people, New Mexico’s first citizens, preserve centuries-old traditions. Through our living languages and vibrant cultures, indigenous people continue to contribute to the diverse tapestry of our state.

“This year we cannot be together, but I look forward to joining you next year in-person,” Trujillo continued. “For now, let us take a moment to celebrate Indian Day and indigenous people across the world.”

More information about the Indian Affairs Department budget for fiscal year 2022 can be found in the request submitted by the Department of Finance and Administration.

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