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.

Latest

  • Lawmakers offer bill to protect Native products

    U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich has heard the stories about people passing off agriculture products as Native American made. Now he, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján and other lawmakers want to find out how widespread the activity is. "I've been working on this issue for five years now," Heinrich told the Journal. “Tesuque Pueblo was the first group to approach me about this. They have harvest seed that’s been around thousands of years. It’s only selectively bred in the Southwest.” Read More


  • Heinrich Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation To Protect Native American Seeds And Traditional Food Products

    July 23, 2019) - Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), U.S. Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and U.S. Representatives Don Young (R-Alaska), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) announced the introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral Native American Seeds Protection Act of 2019 to clearly identify ways to protect Native American seeds and traditional food products, and assist tribes in ensuring that cultural practices and traditional ways of life preserved. Read More


  • Bipartisan, Bicameral STOP Act To Safeguard Tribal Items Introduced

    (July 18, 2019) Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced the bipartisan Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act, a bill to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. The House companion was introduced by Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Don Young (R-Alaska), and Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Read More


  • Udall, Heinrich, Torres Small Announce Over $3.2 Million to Help Modernize Pueblo of Laguna‚Äôs Wastewater Systems

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small announced that the Pueblo of Laguna was awarded $3,242,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development for three projects to renovate and improve wastewater infrastructure in Seama Village, Paquate Village, and New Laguna Village. Read More


  • Udall, Heinrich: Census Should Stay On Schedule, Omit Citizenship Question

    June 28, 2019) - Today U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a group of 27 senators in calling for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to meet the administration's previously set deadline of July 1 to begin printing materials for the 2020 Census and move forward without adding a politically motivated question about citizenship. Read More


  • New Mexico Delegation Announces $2.5 Million to UNM to Research Chronic Kidney Disease Risk Factors Among Native Americans

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded approximately $2.5 million over five years to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center to research chronic kidney disease risk factors among Native Americans in the southwestern United States.  Read More


  • New Mexico Delegation Introduces Bill to Fulfill Aamodt Litigation Settlement

    U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small introduced legislation to ensure the Bureau of Reclamation has sufficient funding and time to implement its obligations under the 2010 Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act and the related water rights case that began in 1966. Read More


  • Udall, Heinrich Call for Senate Committee to Move Chaco Protection Legislation Forward

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich wrote to the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee leadership requesting that the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act be included in the committee's next business meeting, where the committee could vote to report the bill out of committee and move it to the Senate floor. A committee markup represents the next step forward in advancing the bill and permanently protecting archeologically and culturally significant sites around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.  Udall and Heinrich’s request comes after the Department of Interior updated its testimony on the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act and clarified it has no objection to the legislation. Read More