Below, you will find the language to the petition that is circulating through the Pueblo of Isleta.
PETITION FOR AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II OF THE PUEBLO OF ISLETA TRIBAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS ON MEMBERSHIP
We, the undersigned eligible voters, members of the Pueblo of Isleta, pursuant to Article XIII of the Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Constitution and consistent with Federal voting laws, the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. § 476 et. Seq., and CFR 25 Part 82.4, hereby Petition the Secretary of the Interior to authorize an election (Secretarial Election) for the purpose of allowing all eligible voters of the Pueblo of Isleta to vote on the proposed Amendment to Article II (Membership) of the Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Constitution.
Purpose: The proposed amendment would change membership requirements in Article II, Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 from “one-half (1/2) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood” to “one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood” as follows:
Article II, Section 1. Persons of one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood and Isleta parentage shall be members of the Pueblo of Isleta, provided they have not renounced their right to membership.
Article II, Section 2. All persons of one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood whose names appear on the official census roll maintained by Southern Pueblos Agency, as of January 1, 1970.
Article II, Section 3. Any persons of one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood born after January 1, 1970.
Article II, Section 4. Any person of one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Indian blood who is hereafter naturalized or adopted in conformity with an appropriate ordinance of the Council or according to the laws and traditions of the Pueblo of Isleta.
The proposed Amendment shall be placed on the ballot in one question that shall read as follows (Ballot Language):
“Do you vote in FAVOR of the proposed Amendment changing Article II, Section 1, 2, 3 and 4 from “one-half (1/2) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood” to “one-quarter (1/4) or more degree of Isleta Indian blood”?
VOTE: YES _____ NO _______
Tribal members that live out of state are also eligible to sign the petition.
To sign the petition, you must be 18 years of age or older and be a member of the Pueblo of Isleta.
If you are in favor of signing the petition, you may contact:
Phillip Jojola (505) 916-6465; or
Hubert Abeita (505) 307-3946.
The End of Future Petitions?
Tribal members that are against the petition are now asking the Council to request a Secretarial Election to amend the Constitution to prevent tribal members from bypassing the Council on proposed amendments to the Constitution. They want an amendment that would eliminate the Secretary of Interior from accepting petitions from tribal members and conducting elections on proposed constitutional changes.
Eliminating the right of the people to submit petitions to the Secretary is extremely dangerous and detrimental to our Pueblo. It eliminates a neutral party from ensuring that elections are conducted honestly and fairly.
It also allows the Council to create extreme obstacles for tribal members proposing ANY TYPE of constitutional changes at the grass roots level. This would make it virtually impossible for the people to vote on any proposed changes to the Constitution.
As it is now, the current Council has very little regard for the concerns of tribal members. They still refuse to make all of the laws, ordinances and policies readily and easily available to tribal members.