Indian Country

Our tribal communities have always shaped and enhanced New Mexico’s rich culture and traditions. I take pride in working with our tribal communities, and will continue to advocate on their behalf on issues such as education, water access, housing, infrastructure, public safety, and cultural preservation, as well as defend and protect tribal sovereignty.  

Issues that affect Indian Country are a top priority for me. During my time in the U.S. House of Representatives, I led the effort to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and sponsored the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act, which makes it easier to get a lease on trust land and helps Native families buy homes and helps attract businesses and jobs to tribal communities.

As one of my first actions in the Senate, I proudly cosponsored the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which bolsters law enforcement efforts and provides necessary resources for victims of domestic violence, particularly for Native women.

I have also worked with New Mexico’s tribes and pueblos to introduce the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. I remain committed to helping repatriate stolen culturally significant items to their rightful owners.


  • Heinrich Demands CDC Transparency With Tribal COVID-19 Data

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) sent a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield, after recent reporting by Politico that the federal government had turned down tribal epidemiologists' requests for data showing how the coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading around their communities. Senator Heinrich noted that withholding life-saving data widens the health disparities that are already running rampant in areas that are ill-equipped to contain the spread and the outcomes of this pandemic. Read More

  • Heinrich urges CDC to share data with tribal orgs

    Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is calling on the CDC to share coronavirus data with the nation's 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers, warning that its refusal is hampering Native Americans’ ability to respond to the pandemic. Read More

  • NM Delegation Applauds HUD Grants for Tribal Communities

    WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $4,500,000 to the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo de Cochiti, and Ohkay Owingeh under the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program (ICDBG). Read More

  • Heinrich Blasts Treasury Department For Delaying Life-Saving COVID-19 Funding To Tribal Governments

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after U.S. Treasury Department Steven Mnuchin announced that the department will be unable to meet its June 5 commitment to deliver critical, life-saving COVID-19 assistance to tribal governments. The department will delay until June 12 the distribution of $3.2 billion worth of funding from the $8 billion that Senator Heinrich helped secure in the CARES Act. Read More

  • NM, AZ Lawmakers Demand Answers to Reports that Former Trump White House Official Supplied Indian Health Service with Potentially Substandard Personal Protective Equipment

    WASHINGTON-Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Tom O'Halleran (D-Ariz.), and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) sent a bicameral letter to the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee calling for answers from the agency following troubling reports that the federal agency purchased $3 million of potentially substandard respirator masks from a company founded by a former White House deputy chief of staff and then distributed those masks without proper quality screening to Navajo Nation hospitals in New Mexico and Arizona. Read More

  • Heinrich Urges FCC To Ensure Rural Tribal Communities Have Equal Internet Access

    WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) led 17 Senate Democrats in a letter calling on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to request that the FCC extend the 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window by 180 days. Extending this deadline would allow Tribal governments additional time to secure access to unassigned spectrum over tribal lands suitable for both mobile coverage and broadband services as Indian Country continues to be ravaged by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

  • Udall, Heinrich Applaud Nearly $1 Million CARES Act FCC Telehealth Grant for Navajo Nation

    WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau approved $954,990 to the Navajo Nation Department of Health for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program funded 56 health care providers in 23 states for a total of $24.9 million in funding. Read More

  • Heinrich, Haaland, Cole Introduce Bill to Unleash Emergency Access to Broadband Internet in Indian Country

    WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01) and Tom Cole (Okla.-04) announced the introduction of a bill to unleash emergency access to broadband internet in Indian Country. The COVID-19 DISASTER in Indian Country Act will direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant Indian tribes emergency special temporary authority of available spectrum on tribal lands so they can immediately deploy broadband networks on tribal lands during this pandemic. The bill has more than 200 endorsements from across the country, including more than 100 Tribe and Native Hawaiian communities. Read More