Isleta Pueblo Politics

By Christopher L. Abeita

Backlash Against Isleta Quarter-Bloods

A group of tribal members met on July 8, 2016, to discuss possible amendments to the Isleta Constitution. The group is unhappy about the recent constitutional amendment that allows persons with one-quarter Isleta Indian blood to become members of the Pueblo. So, they are considering an effort to change the constitution as follows:

Proposed Amendment No. 1:

Increase the blood-quantum from one-quarter (1/4) to one-half (1/2).

Proposed Amendment No. 2:

Require the Governor to speak the Isleta language by adding a new subsection to Article IV, Section 3 that states:

“He shall speak the Isleta language.”

Proposed Amendment No. 3:

Add a new section called “Article XIV – Traditional Government” that states:

“The enumeration in this constitution of the duties of the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and Judicial Branch shall not be construed to limit the inherent powers and authorities of the traditional leaders of the Pueblo of Isleta in accordance with the customs and traditions of the Pueblo of Isleta.”

Proposed Amendment No. 4:

Revise Article XIII to eliminate the Secretary of the Interior from accepting petitions from tribal members requesting an election to amend the tribal constitution.

Instead, the new language would require the Council Secretary to call and hold a special election on a proposed constitutional amendment upon majority vote of the Council or by a petition signed by at least one-third (1/3) of tribal members eligible to vote.



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