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Pueblo of Santo Domingo of New Mexico


The pueblo will get $23 million and some 4,600 acres under a bill signed by President Clinton to settle land-claims. The pueblo argued it was rightful owner of 52,000 acres of federal, state and private land near the reservation between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It includes shrines and religious sites considered sacred by the 4,492-member tribe. The settlement takes effect after a final judgment is entered and accepted by the U.S. attorney general. "We still have a lot of work to get the settlement finalized," Benny Atencio, the tribe's secretary and spokesman, said. Private landowners are not required to sell or give their property to the tribe. The pueblo has the option to use $3.7 million of the settlement to buy 7,355 acres of National Forest Service land in the disputed area. That plot and 4,577 acres of Bureau of Land Management land the tribe gets will be used mainly for religious purposes. The pueblo, which does not offer gambling, will not build casinos on any of the land, Atencio said. A 1689 land grant from the king of Spain and a 1748 purchase of a neighboring tract called the Diego Gallegos grant, were the basis of the claim. Congress agreed to honor such land grants in 1858.