Democrats recognize tribal sovereignty and acknowledge the fundamental trust responsibility of the United States government to American Indian People and tribal governments as grounded and embedded in treaties, laws and court decisions. With that understanding, Democrats will honor, strengthen and fulfill the sovereign, inherent rights of Tribes and Pueblos in New Mexico by working to enact laws, policies, and political processes that are led and informed by the Tribes and Pueblos of New Mexico. Democrats will seek to ensure that New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos have access to clean air, land, and water; and will consistently defend their sovereign rights to protect their natural and cultural resources, sacred sites, economic interests, cultural identity, Indigenous languages and rights to self-determination.
- We must respect and honor the history of the Tribes and Pueblos of New Mexico, understand their unique political, economic, social, cultural strengths, and challenges, and recognize their contributions to the growth, advancement, and development of our state.
- We must require that all levels of state and local government work with Tribes and Pueblos to develop formal and informed processes whereby tribal leadership and stakeholders can exercise their right to self- determination and have a voice in the process of developing and enacting laws and policies that affect them.
- We must actively recruit and engage members of our State’s Tribes and Pueblos into the Democratic Party of New Mexico and actively encourage participation in all Party proceedings and leadership roles.
- We will work and invest in tribal communities to provide voter outreach and education to increase awareness of their voting rights and responsibilities and encourage their participation in the election process.
- Recognize, honor, and protect the sovereignty and capacity for self-governance of the Tribes and Pueblos of New Mexico;
- Support and assist New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos in obtaining sufficient and meaningful resources to bolster and strengthen economic development and self-determination in sustainable and culturally sensitive ways; this includes sound infrastructure development, access to internet connectivity, broadband deployment, utility accessibility, and road improvements;
- Support and protect the past and present homelands of Tribes and Pueblos and help ensure that water, air, land, cultural resources and sacred sites are protected from damage, disturbance, and contamination utilizing existing state and federal laws. In addition, provide support for existing tribal and Pueblo agricultural practices that includes the protection of seed-saving and other cultural traditions;
- Support and assist Tribes and Pueblos in obtaining affordable and accessible quality healthcare through delivery systems that include the Indian Health Service (IHS), Medicare, and Medicaid and will help in: protecting funding streams that enable Tribes and Pueblos to procure multi-level health care services for their members; providing sufficient funding for eldercare services such as nutrition and caregiver programs in tribal communities; and, preventing Medicaid funding based on a block grant formula;
- Assist and support sound educational programs that comply with state and federal accountability standards with an emphasis on high quality instruction, effective professional teacher development, recruitment, and retention, and the development of culturally sensitive curricula including Native language retention and instruction. Will work to effectuate meaningful education policy change that includes: collaborating with the Bureau of Indian Education; supplementing and not supplanting federal Impact Aid funding; strengthening self-determination by enabling culturally inclusive learning techniques unique to each tribal nation; furnishing and funding tribal libraries; fostering the advancement of higher education that includes the re- introduction of vocational education; creating and developing a literate, highly skilled and well-educated work force within tribal communities; and, providing childcare, nutrition, and early childhood education programs in tribal communities.
- Protect existing laws and intergovernmental agreements benefitting tribal interests in the areas of taxation, education, voting, healthcare, and cultural resources, with the understanding that intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration benefits the entire state of New Mexico.
- Invite New Mexico’s Tribes and Pueblos to participate and comment on all legislation affecting tribal interests as early as possible in the legislative process including interim periods and legislative sessions.
- Ensure the development of efficient and practical methods of communication and consultation between branches of government and New Mexico’s Tribes and Pueblos by adopting protocols embedded in laws such as the State Tribal Collaboration Act, which has framed state-tribal relations and assured a continuous and productive government-to-government relationship