Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Actby Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Posted on 2015-10-06
LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I thank
Representative Sablan and Representative Newhouse for their support. I
also thank Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva for their help
in bringing this legislation to the floor. Of course, I extend my
gratitude to our Senator Tom Udall for working with me on this
important piece of legislation.
I am the proud sponsor of the House companion to the Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act, which, as you have heard, directs the Secretary of the Interior to take into trust four tracts of land for the New Mexico 19 Pueblos.
The land taken into the trust would be used for educational, health, cultural, business, and economic development of the New Mexico Pueblos. The four parcels are located within a former Federal Indian boarding school site called the 1884 Albuquerque Indian School Reserve in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In 1969, the United States started the long process of converting the Reserve into land under the jurisdiction and control of the New Mexico Pueblos. Since then, Congress has enacted legislation in 1978, 2001, and 2008 to convey additional land from the Reserve in trust for the New Mexico Pueblos.
Pursuant to the 2008 legislation, the Bureau of Land Management conducted a new survey of the former school properties and identified minor discrepancies in the previous trust deeds and, also, identified the correct boundaries of two additional tracts of land within the Reserve that the Bureau of Indian Affairs no longer needed for its administrative functions.
This legislation addresses those technical discrepancies identified by BLM's survey, and it would complete the process of transferring BIA's portion of the Reserve to New Mexico's Pueblos.
This transfer allows the Pueblos to expand their current economic development plan for the region, which creates jobs, expands educational and cultural opportunities, while continuing to generate revenue for the New Mexico Pueblos.
I urge my colleagues to support this noncontroversial legislation, which, as you have heard, has the support of the entire New Mexico delegation and would benefit the New Mexico 19 Pueblos.