Article by Brenda Norrell
The vile and racist orders by Gov. Calhoun in his proclamations in 1851 directed Native residents to be excluded from official census counts and authorized militias to “pursue and attack” Indigenous New Mexicans.
The 1869 proclamations issued by Gov. Mitchell and Gov. Pile declared Apache and Navajo as “outlaws” and authorized New Mexico residents to use violence against them, and even murder them.
In her powerful letter to the governor, Rangel provided research that revealed the genocide -- as Navajo, Apache and Pueblo struggled to survive.
Rangel stated that during the Camp Grant massacre, on April 30, 1871, U.S. troops killed and mutilated 144 Apaches and nearly all of them were scalped. Twenty-nine children were captured and sold into slavery in Mexico.
"In the mid-1880s, the Grant County Commission located in Silver City, declared a $250 bounty per Apache scalp. Ranchers near Las Cruces offered a private bounty of $500 for Geronimo’s scalp."
"In 1909, the Sierra County newspaper published the Commissioner proceedings, which stated that 35 individuals received a total of $707.00 for scalping bounties," Rangel said in her letter.
Dine' Earl Tulley Thanks Rangel and Governor
"Thanks to Valerie Rangel for having courage to write a wrong, and thanks to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in executing an Executive Order," Tulley said.
"I am proud of my progenitor roots, equally proud of matriarchal foliage, very delighted to witness our present day diversity of our five finger families."
Pointing out that Navajo is matriarchal, Tulley said, "Matriarchal foliage to me would be various colors of leaves. Our family is not a chocolate colored, our clan is bi- racial, bi-cultural we be blended."
New Mexico's Roots to Remove Genocidal Orders began with Sand Creek
Valerie Rangel's research led her to a book of newspaper clippings in Huntington Library in California, which includes the most complete collection of New Mexico's territorial proclamations.
"I started looking at the history surrounding the proclamations — was there an impact, did it really fuel hate?" said Rangel, whose roots include Apache and Navajo.
Through her research, she found several bounties for scalping, with some counties going so far as to pay for newspaper advertisements in states beyond New Mexico to solicit people for the efforts. New Mexico became a U.S. state in January 1912.
Rangel shared her findings with tribal and state officials. She's among those pushing for this part of New Mexico's history to be included in school curriculums.
"I'd like to see more communication with tribes and have them be the source of the history that's being learned," she said.
Pojoaque Governor: Gratitude for Rescinding Proclamations
Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal said, "It is heartening to see that we can come together and heal by respecting tribal histories on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and I am grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham for rescinding these proclamations."
“For my people, this day, T’owa-ví Thaa Day in the Tewa language, is about remembering our history and our ancestors – those who were here first. I encourage every New Mexican and every citizen of Nations, Tribes and Pueblos to reflect on the values, language and culture we celebrate today.”
|Above: Excerpt from New Mexico Governor's Executive Order
March 12, 1851 proclamation of Gov. James S. Calhoun
March 18, 1851 proclamation of Gov. James S. Calhoun
August 2, 1869 proclamation of Gov. Robert B. Mitchell
September 8, 1869 proclamation of Gov. William A. Pile
Gov. Lujan Grisham said that the1851 proclamations issued by Gov. Calhoun directed Native residents to be excluded from official census counts and authorized militias to “pursue and attack” Indigenous New Mexicans.
Gov. Lujan Grisham said that no record can be found of these four proclamations ever being rescinded by previous governors. While proclamations are issued at will by governors, they must be rescinded by executive order.
"We can never rewrite history or undo the injustices of the past," said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But we can work together to heal old wounds and build stronger bonds between us. To that end, today I am rescinding four egregious official proclamations of my predecessors.”
Santa Fe Historian's Letter to Governor
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Re: Request to Rescind Territorial Period Proclamations
Dear Governor Lujan Grisham,
I am proud to serve as the fourth City of Santa Fe historian in a moment that recognizes Truth. This is a letter to address a social justice issue that has been hidden, which I have discovered in the archives of our past (See attached pdf of Territorial period proclamations).
Bringing to light aspects of our dark history is not easy, but we do so with the intention of building Trust through honest dialogue. Reconciliation is the process of groups in conflict agreeing to make amends and also acknowledging the harms that have taken place. If our quest for Truth and Reconciliation is truly equitable, we must acknowledge the power dynamics which have failed to affirm indigenous ownership of land, silencing certain knowledge, languages, and accounts of lived experiences.
Our collective wisdom has the power to inform our society, shape laws and social policies, and serve as a guide for future generations.
In President Biden’s 2021 Indigenous People’s Day proclamation it states, “We must never forget the centuries long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation and terror wrought upon Native communities and Tribal Nations throughout our county. Today we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation.”
Since 2016, the City of Santa Fe has reserved Indigenous People’s Day as a day to honor and uphold its Native American constituents from the 47 Navajo chapters, 19 Pueblos in New Mexico, the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and its urban Native citizens. The City values all of the Native American arts, cultural, and educational institutions that gives the city such a strong sense of place.
From the arrival of the Spanish in 1540, colonizers imposed dramatic changes to the land and life ways that existed for thousands of years, and committed countless injustices, which indigenous people fought in an effort to protect their homelands, sacred places of worship, and obtain sovereign rights.
Take a moment to recognize the strength of these communities who have overcome three colonial forces: Spain, Mexico, and the United States, which threatened to destroy the continuation of traditional ways of life, cultural traditions, languages, ceremonies, ecological knowledge and religion.
New Mexico has been in a process of examining its history due to repeated incidents of vandalism of Onate statues, controversial monuments, Indian School burials, and most recently name changes of federal places that bear derogatory terms.
According to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in 1848, “property of every kind now belonging to Mexicans not established there shall be inviolably respected.” According to the treaty, every resident in New Mexico was under Mexican rule. Those who chose to stay within the now US boundaries would have their right to land and property. The treaty also acknowledged pueblo land grants that were given by the Spanish empire, which had been respected under the Mexican government.
On March 12, 1851, New Mexico Territorial Governor James S. Calhoun issued a proclamation that called for an accurate census or enumeration of all inhabitants (except Indians). We know now, that despite Governor Calhoun’s proclamation, every resident should have been counted by the census in 1851, as a New Mexico citizen, including Indians. It was not until 1924 that the Indian Citizenship Act, signed by Calvin Coolidge, allowed Native Americans the right to vote in New Mexico.
On March 18, 1851, Governor Calhoun issued a second proclamation which, “authorized the attack on any hostile tribe of Indians that may have entered settlements for the purpose of plunder and depredation…and directed or ordered residents to capture the property from any hostile tribe of Indians”.
A similar proclamation was issued by Governor Mitchell, dated August 2, 1869 and September 1869, which declared Navajo and Gila Apache Indian tribes as, “outlaws” and authorized citizens to kill and take the property of their enemies.
These proclamations likely fueled hate crimes and admonished two entire ethnic groups of people for the accused actions of a few. In the history books that I read growing up, Apaches were described as “hostile Indians”, and “bloodthirsty savages that scalped their enemies”.
Disturbing the dead is a cultural taboo for the Navajo and Apache and neither tribe practiced scalping. Starting in 1835, the Mexican government of Sonora put a bounty on the Apache; paying 100 pesos for each scalp of a male 14 years or more old.
“Navajos tried to attack the soldiers, steal their horses, some Navajos captured, prisoners, one was a squaw, perhaps a spy, women, some killed, casualties, some were scalped, and some sheep, cattle recovered. Officer commented that Navajos did not scalp their enemies but this was a practice tolerated among Federal troops.”
Diary of Christopher Carson's Navajo Campaign, first part - UNM CSWR William G. Ritch Papers Collection - CONTENTdm Title
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, the Camp Grant massacre, on April 30, 1871 is an example of harsh treatment that led to the loss of life and unfounded punitive actions. In this attack led by U.S. troops, a total of 144 Apaches were killed and mutilated, nearly all of them scalped.” According to historical sources, twenty-nine children were captured and sold into slavery in Mexico.
In the mid-1880s, the Grant County Commission located in Silver City, declared a $250 bounty per Apache scalp. Ranchers near Las Cruces offered a private bounty of $500 for Geronimo’s scalp.
In 1909, the Sierra County newspaper published the Commissioner proceedings, which stated that 35 individuals received a total of $707.00 for scalping bounties.
Civil War Union soldiers were directed to use military force and a scorched earth policy that burned down the homes, agricultural fields and orchards of the Dine’ – an effort to starve them into submission. 500 Mescalero Apache, a tribe who were migratory hunter-gatherers for thousands of years, were taken as prisoners to an internment camp at Fort Sumner. From 1863-1868, 8,000 Navajo were also forcibly held here. During internment at Bosque Redondo both the Navajo and apache were prevented from practicing ceremonies, singing songs, or praying and forced to be sedentary farmers—this was cultural genocide.
Bosque Redondo and the policies surrounding “Indian Removal” exemplify environmental racism and give the context for land use patterns and practices that would displace indigenous peoples from their homelands and sacred places. Relocation, eradication, and forced assimilation practices created significant health crisis such as starvation, infectious diseases, inadequate housing, mistreatment, as well as substantial loss of life at the hands of the military. These experiences are remembered and resonate within tribes; they are the source of deep intergenerational trauma and mistrust of the federal government today.
The Truth & Reconciliation process that the City of Santa Fe is embarking upon requires acknowledgement of harsh truth, and concerted work towards reconciliation, and peace. The act of rescinding the afore mentioned territorial proclamations would be a step towards reconciliation with the tribal communities who remember and are deeply scarred by the strife and sacrifices during this period. And also acknowledge the historical trauma that persists from centuries of policies of eradication, assimilation, oppression, displacement, and erasure.
This letter is to request Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to rescind the following proclamations by New Mexico Territorial period Governors:
March 12, 1851, Governor James S. Calhoun issued a proclamation that called for an accurate census or enumeration of all inhabitants (except Indians)
March 18, 1851, Governor Calhoun’s issued a second proclamation which, “authorized the attack on any hostile tribe of Indians that may have entered settlements for the purpose of plunder and depredation…and directed or ordered residents to capture the property from any hostile tribe of Indians”.
Governor Mitchell’s proclamation, dated August 2, 1869 and September 1869, which declared Navajo and Gila Apache Indian tribes as, “outlaws” and authorized citizens to kill and take the property of their enemies.
In service to the City of Santa Fe and the future of New Mexico,
City of Santa Fe Historian, IV
New Mexico Governor's Statement
“My administration will continue to invest in and support Indigenous communities throughout New Mexico. This year we broke ground on the Navajo Code Talker Museum to make sure future generations know the stories and courage of the Code Talkers. In Gallup, we announced funds for new wells to provide safe drinking water to remote Navajo Chapter Houses and to the greater Gallup community.
Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo, a member of Sandia Pueblo, issued the following statement:
"Today, we remember and celebrate New Mexico's Nation’s Tribes and Pueblos and Indigenous communities and people for their significant contributions that are evident in our state and across the Nation. By commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day, we reclaim space and give a more honest representation of our past.
(Excerpt from above) "That, in consequence of the constant depredations and the murder of our most esteemed and valuable citizens--cruelly murdered by the Navajo and Gila Apache Indian tribes-said tribes are hereby declared outlaws, and will be punished wherever found outside of the limits of their respective reservations (except under the immediate escort of the soldiery) as common encmies of the country. I do further authorize the citizens of the Territory to use sufficient force, in all localities, for the protection of its citizens, even should it result in the killing of every such depredator."
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham rescinded governors' orders from the 1800s that targeted Navajos and Apaches to be hunted by militia and murdered. The governor's action is the result of extensive research by Rangel, who documented the genocide and appealed to the governor to take action.
State of New Mexico
Michelle Lujan Grisham
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2022-144
RESCINDING OFFENSIVE TERRITORIAL PROCLAMATIONS
WHEREAS, New Mexico is home to twenty-three sovereign Native American nations:
nineteen Pueblos (Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris,
Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos,
Tesuque, Zuni, and Zia), three Apache Tribes (the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache
Nation and the Mescalero Apache Tribe), and the Navajo Nation;
WHEREAS, New Mexico has approximately 262,500 Native American inhabitants
according to the 2020 Census, which represent nearly 12.4% of the State's entire population;
WHEREAS, New Mexico's Native American inhabitants belong to some of the oldest
tribal communities in the country, and their culture and traditions are inextricably woven into our
WHEREAS, the government of New Mexico has not always respected the importance and
sovereignty of our Native American citizens, and our history is sadly stained with cruel
mistreatment of Native Americans; for example, New Mexico territorial county commissions have
offered bounties for scalps of Apache men and women;
WHEREAS, this lack of respect and outright hostility has been memorialized in territorial
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Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 -
WHEREAS, for instance, Governor James S. Calhoun issued a proclamation on March
12, 1851, to "take an accurate census or enumeration of all the inhabitants (Indians excepted) of
the several counties and districts in which they are respectively assigned";
WHEREAS, Governor Calhoun issued another proclamation on March 18, 1851,
organizing and authorizing militia to "pursue and attack any hostile tribe of Indians that may have
entered settlements for the purpose of plunder and depredation” and seize their property;
WHEREAS, Governor Robert B. Mitchell issued a proclamation on August 2, 1869,
declaring the "Navajo and Apache Indian tribes” as "outlaws,” providing for their punishment
"wherever found outside the limits of their respective reservations," and authorizing citizens to
"use sufficient force ... even should it result in the killing of every such depredator”;
WHEREAS, Governor William A. Pile issued a similar proclamation on September 8,
1869, directed at the Navajo tribe;
WHEREAS, these proclamations have never been officially rescinded; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate to rescind these shameful proclamations today, Indigenous
People's Day, in order to honor our Native American citizens and remedy some of the injustices
our government has perpetrated.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of the State of New Mexico,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico,
do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
The following proclamations are hereby rescinded:
March 12, 1851, proclamation of Governor James S. Calhoun; March 18, 1851, proclamation of Governor James S. Calhoun;
August 2, 1869, proclamation of Governor Robert B. Mitchell;
Executive Order 2022-144
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September 8, 1869, proclamation of Governor William A. Pile;
This Order shall take effect on Monday, October 10, 2022, and shall remain in
effect until renewed, modified, or rescinded.
Maggie Iulouse Clein
DONE AT THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE THIS 7TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2022
MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER SECRETARY OF STATE
WITNESS MY HAND AND THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO
Michelle hujan Gishen
MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM GOVERNOR
Executive Order 2022-144
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Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News. May not be used without written permission.