Herman Lente, a candidate for Governor of Isleta Pueblo, released a statement concerning the obligation of a Governor to represent the entire Tribe. He explained his commitment to honor the Tribal Constitution and to ensure that he would treat everyone in our Tribe fairly. To read his statement, click: Blood Quantum
His letter triggered the following discussion:
Kathy Montoya [Is] he or is he not for the blood quantum?
Isleta Pueblo Politics The Council and the Governor cannot lower the blood quantum. Only the tribe can lower the blood quantum by voting to amend the Constitution. To amend the Constitution, the people can submit a petition directly to the Secretary of Interior requesting an election to amend the Constitution or the Council can vote to request a Secretarial Election. The individual opinions of the candidates on whether to lower the blood quantum are irrelevant.
Terry Lente Dear IPP: Of course it matters whether or not individuals in office are in support of lowering the blood quantum!! After the petition is submitted to the Secretary of Interior that is when the tribal administration comes into play! The Bureau has to work with tribal administration and if they are not in support (both the Governor and Council) than it is very difficult to proceed as quickly as possible to get things moving! If they are not supportive road blocks are placed, like last election! So, community members in support of lowering the blood quantum should watch from our Task Force for Membership the endorsement of candidates for Governor and Tribal Council which will officially take place on Saturday, November 15 @ 1;00 pm, the meeting will be held at Kimo Construction on Highway 47.
Isleta Pueblo Politics Actually, what truly matters is whether Tribal Officials have the personal integrity to honor and follow the law despite their personal sentiments. For instance, a Governor that personally disagrees with a law, has an obligation to follow, honor and comply with that law despite their personal feelings. Judges and Council members have that same obligation. And, it’s very unfortunate that many of them don’t.
Nevertheless, as you are well aware, our Tribe is sharply divided about lowering the blood quantum to one-quarter. There are very good arguments on both sides of that issue. So, there is no right answer on the blood quantum issue.
It is truly sad to see our Tribe ripped in half because people are unwilling to respectfully disagree with someone that may have a different viewpoint. Instead, many of us become vicious, insulting and cruel to other tribal members just because they hold an alternative view.
An “endorsement” from your Task Force will only serve to divide our Tribe once again. If the candidates for office had wisdom, then they would decline an endorsement from your group. Instead, every candidate should simply make the same commitment as Herman Lente, which is honor and follow the law.
Once elected, every Council Member and the Governor have an obligation to represent the entire Tribe. And, they should strive to act in the best interests of the Tribe as a whole. They should not cater to a special interest group within our Tribe. If they do, then our government will become just as corrupt as our State and Federal Governments.
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