Council Scrambles to Create New Law

Council will Consider Approving New Ordinance on Tribal Membership

The Isleta Tribal Council is considering enacting the “Amended and Restated Tribal Enrollment Ordinance of the Pueblo of Isleta.” The proposed law creates criteria that would allow quarter-bloods to apply for membership through “adoption” into the Pueblo.

Under the proposed new law, to be adopted as a tribal member, quarter-bloods would have to meet the following criteria:

be initiated into a clan;

have a spokesperson or a sponsor from their clan;

must be on the “descendants list” for a minimum of five (5) years; &

for the lifetime of the applicant, he or she, must have resided on:

on the Isleta reservation;


Bosque Farms;

Los Lunas; 

Belen; or

the reservation of another Pueblo.

** There is an exception to the residency requirement. It provides “up to [a] ten (10) year excusal for a quarter-blood “attending school or in the military.” 

A quarter-blood would submit their application to the Tribal Enrollment Committee (TEC) and the TEC would decide whether to accept or reject the applicant.

Quarter-bloods would also need to comply with DNA testing whenever the TEC demanded such test. 

The proposed ordinance makes it clear that: “In no event the listing of a person as an Isleta Descendent provides such person with any right, interest, or entitlement to participate in any program, receive any benefit, or enjoy any privilege that the Pueblo of Isleta may confer or make available to Tribal Members.”

The Council will discuss the proposed ordinance on Monday, October 5, 2015, @ 1:00 p.m. at the Isleta Golf Course.  

Listed below are the Council’s secret resolutions concerning Tribal Membership:

Resolution #2006-117;

Resolution #2007-034;

Resolution #2007-094;

Resolution #2007-106;

Resolution #2010-031;

Resolution #2010-148; and

Resolution #2011-053.

The resolutions listed above affect the rights of ALL tribal members including descendants of the Pueblo. Yet, this Council, and all prior Councils since 2006 have failed to make those resolutions available to the community. 





One Reply to “Council Scrambles to Create New Law”

  1. The proposed ordinance makes it clear that: “In no event the listing of a person as an Isleta Descendent provides such person with any right, interest, or entitlement to participate in any program, receive any benefit, or enjoy any privilege that the Pueblo of Isleta may confer or make available to Tribal Members.”

    This is truly a sad and insulting way to treat our children and grandchildren who make up the pool of Descendants. To see it in writing is disgusting. Other tribes are moving ahead and we are stuck still arguing about who is Isleta and who isn’t. The paranoia about benefits is so ridiculous when we will recover that and more by strengthening our tribe and growing our numbers. Now it’s all about benefits and money? So we are willing to deny people of Isleta blood and to claim they are Isleta Indian for what? To be sure we have enough benefits for ourselves? Is this now about benefits and where someone lives that determines who is an Indian? Sometimes a quarter blood can give more back to the tribe by defending the image and integrity of being Indian and to being Isleta than someone that has never left the reservation. The truth is there is enough for everyone and supporting and including our own people by including our 1/4 blood decedents into the tribe will only grow our tribe and give us a stronger voice through strength in numbers. Our fight is not with each other! The 1/4 bloods bring unity to our tribe and they have actual pride in being Indian because they are fighting to be included and not taking anything for granted. I bet it is they that will ultimately help our people, give direction to our young and provide for our elders. People are simply allowing the idea that the 1/4 bloods are outsiders to feed on their own insecurity about the future to keep us divided. There is enough for all of us! AM I THE ONLY ONE REALIZING THAT WE GET SO LITTLE ANYWAY? That’s not because of the 1/4 bloods. Our casino and business ventures and leaseholds can be providing each of us with much more support but by keeping people out and allowing the status quo we are kept in the dark and our money continues to be squandered by mistakes or incompetence. We hire outsiders and non-indians but our own children are pushed away? God forbid we educate ourselves and grow as a people and we strengthen our tribe ourselves. Most of the other stronger and wealthier tribes throughout the nation don’t have these type of blood restrictions on their own people. They are growing in numbers and in strength and not just by full or 1/2 bloods. They embrace and encourage their people to unify and support each other. They include 1/4 bloods without hesitation without any negative backlash. Isleta has one of the strictest blood quantum requirements in the nation and it has not benefited any of us. It has only driven people away never to return and has divided families. We use the 1/4 bloods when it benefits us to show a larger population on the census but then conveniently deny they are Isleta. In doing so we deny they are Indian and contribute to the dismantling and destruction of the Indian people. The type of language they are proposing will only drive the next generation even further away. I hope anyone that reads this realizes there is nothing to fear by growing our tribe and the idea that we would allow others to approve or disapprove and decide who is Isleta based on someone else’s idea of what makes us Indian is ridiculous. A residency requirement is insulting. Not everyone was given a house to live on near the reservation. In some cases there is only one family house and only one sibling could stay close by. So that sibling is more Indian? A blood test? Then have everyone take a blood test. Who is willing to allow someone else to define them that way based on these factors? If we allow this then we should all be ashamed of our inaction and our greed. Look around. We need to grow our numbers to survive as a tribe. We don’t need to push away children that want to take pride in their heritage as an Isleta Pueblo Indian. They have something to offer and we are throwing away people that are connected to us by blood. It is their birthright to say they are part of the Isleta tribe. No one has the right to pick and choose people they want or don’t want and approve or disapprove of tribal membership in the way they are proposing. There are too many factors. Blood decides and all 1/4 bloods have Isleta blood and all 1/4 bloods should be a part of our tribe without extra qualifiers and conditions. Next we will have people voting out the 1/2 bloods and little by little our tribe will gone. We need to look to a positive future and choose to grow our tribe.

What are your thoughts?