New Mexico Tribes descend on state legislature to oppose Dakota Access Pipeline

Each year, American Indian Day brings culture and concerns from Native Americans across New Mexico to the State Legislature, but Friday they also showed up to show unified support for the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in South Dakota to stop a pipeline that they say threatens their water and damages sacred sites. “We came here today because it’s American Indian Day and to support Standing Rock,” said Rita Blatche who drove more than three hours with her husband from Mescalero to Santa Fe. Standing Rock was the overall theme of the day, with Standing Rock Councilman Robert Taken Alive speaking as the honored guest. All 23 Native American tribes within the state unified their stance toward the Dakota Access Pipeline and signed a letter opposing the pipeline. San Ildefonso Pueblo Lt. Gov. Chris Moquino said the visit from Taken Alive “shows there is strength in numbers.” San Ildefonso is located east of Pojoaque.

Capital Outlay transparency gains traction

Several bills related to transparency are up for hearing this legislative session, including a capital outlay bill introduced by Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Santa Fe. The proposal, HB 121, would make public information about capital projects—and who funds them. That information is currently kept private. Detailed information including the amount of money given to projects is protected under statute. That means there is no way for the public to know how much money their lawmakers individually allocate to a capital project.