All Pueblo Council of Governors
The All Pueblo Council of Governors’ (APCG) in collaboration with the Native Redistricting Coalition (NRC) have submitted consensus maps of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and the Jicarilla Apache Nation. A set of consensus State House, State Senate and Congressional maps have been uploaded to the “Districtr” portal at New Mexico’s Citizen Redistricting Committee (CRC) website putting forth the district preferences of the sovereign tribal nations. The 19 Pueblos in consultation with the Jicarilla Apache Nation have arrived at a history making moment in the 2021 Redistricting process.
“This effort reflects not only an understanding of the importance of tribal involvement in the redistricting process, but more importantly, the need to protect our cherished right to vote,” said All Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman Wilfred Herrera Jr. “We’re mindful that the work doesn’t end here. The Pueblo Governors want to see their maps used to shape and define their interests for the next 10 years.”
New Mexico’s sovereign tribal governments have participated in the redistricting process by engaging with the “Native American Redistricting Work Group,” (NARWG), composed of representatives from the Pueblos, Tribes, and Nations. In response, the Native American Redistricting Work Group created a set of “guiding principles” based on a framework designed by the tribes during redistricting activities in 2011. The guiding principles served as building blocks for deliberation and discussion on map designs derived from weekly exchanges. While tremendous progress has been made in crafting consensus, the work on maps continues with input from the Pueblos, Tribes, and Nations.
“We have arrived at set of consensus maps that solidly captures the boundaries of the legislative and congressional districts that comport with our existing reservations,” said Jicarilla Apache Nation President Edward Velarde. “But the hard part of the 2021 redistricting process is hammering out an agreement among the tribes on their communities of interests and ancestral boundaries. We have deliberated and reached an historic agreement.”
With guidance and support from the 19 Pueblo Governors of New Mexico and the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the state House and Senate district and Congressional maps are the culmination of careful and deliberative thinking, strategic meetings, and consultations with tribes over the past four months. These maps strengthen and maintain the voting power of New Mexico’s three Native American-majority Senate districts, six Native American-majority House districts, and one Native American influence district.
Pueblo of Zuni Governor Val Panteah said, “This is a historic moment for Pueblo Governors who have worked in unison to strengthen Native Voting power and have made decisions that protect the political, social and economic interests of tribal communities. Hopefully, all New Mexico tribes will stand together, united behind our consensus maps.”
The Native American Redistricting Work Group shared the maps with tribal leaders and sought their approval. In turn, each tribe used its sovereign decision-making authority to determine the makeup of the legislative and congressional districts most suitable and protective of their communities of interest – decisions that will be in place for the next ten years. Most celebratory in this redistricting process is tribal leaders exercising the power of Self-Determination, reflected in federal law.