WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Luján welcomed passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act. The bill, which previously passed in the U.S. Senate, now heads to President Obama for his signature.
Udall, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Heinrich introduced the Senate bill to place four tracts of land from the former Albuquerque Indian School into trust for the 19 Pueblos, consolidating the last parcels of the old school property into the Albuquerque Indian School District adjacent to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Rep. Lujan Grisham introduced the bill, cosponsored by Pearce and Luján, in the House.
"I'm extremely pleased that thanks to collaborative work by the New Mexico delegation, this bill is on its way to the president to be signed into law," Udall said. "Consolidating the last parcels of the school property will enable the Pueblos to build on their ongoing efforts to transform the Albuquerque Indian School property into a unique business and cultural center. It will help create jobs and enhance cultural education opportunities for the Pueblos, the city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico."
"This land transfer will foster economic and cultural development opportunities for New Mexico's Pueblos," Heinrich said. "The parcel next to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is the perfect location for our Pueblos to build businesses, create learning centers, or expand the cultural center--the possibilities for growth are numerous, and I am pleased with the passage of this bill."
“New Mexico’s pueblos have an exciting development plan that will create jobs in the heart of Albuquerque, while generating revenue for all 19 pueblos,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “This Act paves the way for the pueblos to execute that plan and accommodate future growth.
“New Mexico is one of the most diverse cultural and historic states in the nation. As a state, and as a delegation we must do all we can to protect these rich heritages,” Rep. Pearce said. “With this land, the All Pueblo Council of Governors will be able to continue and expand its work to promote the culture of all 19 pueblos. While a minor fix for Congress, passage of this legislation will greatly benefit the economy and heritage of the Pueblos and State.”
"The Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act is a positive step forward that will provide economic development opportunities by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which serves New Mexico’s nineteen Pueblos,” Rep. Luján said. “I’m pleased that the delegation came together to move this legislation through Congress that will help increase cultural education as well as boost economic development for the Pueblos and for the state.”
“On behalf of the 19 New Mexico Pueblo Communities, we are extremely pleased to hear about the passage of the Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act,” said Mike Canfield, president and CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Indian Pueblos Marketing. “The land being transferred to the Pueblos includes the remaining BIA property once used for the Albuquerque Indian School. This transfer will allow us to continue our efforts with the economic development of this very special property; creating much needed jobs and economic return for all of our communities. We are very appreciative for all the work Congresswomen Lujan-Grisham has done to get the bill passed in the House and Senator Udall for his work with the passage of the Senate bill.”