Isleta Pueblo Politics

By Christopher L. Abeita

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Council Member Gives Inside Info to His Daughter

Council Member Fernando Abeita gave his daughter, Tanya Campos, inside information about the Isleta Tribal Council’s upcoming plan to enroll quarter-bloods. Tanya then gives the information to her “e-mail group.”

Fernando’s information to his daughter is based on two (2) sources.

The first source is information discussed at a council meeting on June 6th. Tanya was not at this meeting.

The second source is apparently from documents that Fernando receives as a council member. This is information that the Council HAS NOT made available to the Tribe.

Tanya’s e-mail raises a few questions.

Is her information accurate? Kinda, sorta, maybe. Tanya was not at the June 6th council meeting. So, her information about the meeting is kinda, sorta and maybe accurate. When you read her email, you’ll understand why.

June  6th  Meeting

I was at the Council’s June 6th meeting along with Josephine Padilla and Terry Lente. (Ms. Padilla did not stay for the entire meeting.) Below, you will find highlights of what actually happened at the meeting.

The Council approved a resolution to authorize the printing of the Tribal Constitutions containing the new language for the blood-quantum amendment. The vote was 6 in favor, 0 opposed and 0 abstaining. Council Member Barbara Sanchez was absent.

The Council also voted to approve a short application form that descendants will need to submit to the Enrollment Office, IF they wish to be enrolled. The vote was 6 in favor, 0 opposed and 0 abstaining.

However, the new form WILL NOT be available until AFTER the Council gives FINAL approval on changes to the Enrollment Ordinance.

The Council spent the remainder of their meeting discussing several proposed changes to the Enrollment Ordinance. Attorney Kaydee Culbertson was recommending the changes. The Council HAS NOT YET approved the changes. Culbertson needs to finalize the changes and present them at a future meeting — possibly on June 13th.

Culbertson also proposed a tentative date of July 1st for the Council to provide the community with NOTICE of the enrollment process for quarter-bloods. This date may change depending on WHEN or IF the Council approves the changes to the Enrollment Ordinance.

When you read Tanya’s email, you will see how she makes reference to the Council’s June 6th meeting.

Documents to Tanya

Apparently, Fernando Abeita gave his daughter documents that he receives as a Council Member because Tanya’s makes several detailed statements about the enrollment process AND she quotes information throughout her e-mail.

Several of those details were not discussed at the June 6th council meeting.

So, how could Tanya be so detailed about the steps for the enrollment process? How could she give specific quotes?

Access to Information

EVERYONE should have equal access to governmental information. Instead, we have tribal officials who only give information to their friends and family. Why?

If Fernando Abeita is giving his daughter the documents that he gets as a Council Member, then those documents should be made available to ALL tribal members.

Tanya states:

“Knowing there will be a priority deadline date, please communicate with your family, friends, colleagues, etc., about this process. I’m sure they want to get their status changes as soon as possible for themselves, but it is equally important to get it changed with enough time for them to be eligible to vote in the upcoming election. As we have talked about before, it is extremely important that we make sure people who support this change get into the council this November.” (Emphasis Added).

Hmmmm, what does that mean?

Fernando’s Invitation

Tanya’s e-mail also states,

“. . . my dad wanted me to let you know that he is going to be available this Friday, June 10, at 6 p.m. FOR ANYONE who wants to come over to his house and talk more about the process, has questions, etc…” (Emphasis Added).

It is unclear whether Fernando is willing to meet with ALL PERSONS interested in the enrollment process OR just the people in Tanya’s “e-mail group.” Since Tanya sent the e-mail to just a few people, then Fernando’s invitation may only apply to those persons.

To read Tanya’s e-mail, click: Tanya’s E-mail

BUT — remember, the Council is still in the process of revising their initial four (4) phase plan to enroll quarters. The Council approved their initial plan on May 2nd. This plan would have forced quarter-bloods who DO NOT live on the rez to wait up to 7 1/2 years to be enrolled. This was the plan that Fernando Abeita was pushing.

The four phase (4) plan established the following:

Phase 1 – Enroll approximately 500 quarters who live on the rez. Estimated time to complete 2 1/2 years.

Phase 2 – Enroll approximately 400 quarters who live off the rez in nearby surrounding areas such as Valencia County and Bernalillo County. Estimated time to complete 2 years.

Phase 3 – Enroll approximately 100 quarters who live throughout NM. Estimated time to complete 1 year.

Phase 4 – Enroll approximately 400 quarters who live throughout the US. Estimated time to complete 2 years.

The Council is slowly back peddling from its initial four (4) phase plan.




Add a Comment
  1. Hold on, wait a minute! It’s my understanding that any/all ordinances are supposed to be granted a review and comment period by Isleta Tribal Members…prior to enactment. This Enrollment Ordinance is no different.

    Is Fernando Abeita and his cronies going to hinder our ability to comment on this Enrollment Ordinance too? I sense the supporters of quarter-blood reduction are relying on some shadiness to enable their tribal memberships.

    How can we respect this CHANGE if it is not being done in a legitimate manner? OMG! This reeks of corruption already. Shame on them!

    Chris: Please post that particular resolution which allows Isleta Tribal Members a review and comment period.

  2. The Council did pass a resolution to allow public comment on proposed laws. However, if I recall correctly, it gave the Council discretion on whether to seek public comment before enacting those laws. In other words, the Council was not obligated to follow the resolution. This made the resolution worthless.

    It was another piece of garbage drafted by Pablo Padilla.

    I’m not sure whether I have that resolution. I will look for it.

  3. Wow! Apparently, these people don’t have any respect for their people. Sounds like they are looking out for themselves, and their families and friends. That is quite disgusting. They probably think they are really smart. They have no self-respect, so how is anybody supposed to look to them for leadership. Selfish, greedy people. Yuck! Something stinks really bad. Check your upper lips council.

  4. What ever happened to being honorable? Did that go out of style? Are they trying to be like their “Big brother”?

What are your thoughts?

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