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Sandia Pueblo Governor Joe Lujan Dies

November 2, 2010

Sandia Mountains
posu gai hoo-oo
(Tiwa Pueblo name meaning where water slides down arroyo)
November 2009
Karen Rivera

Tribal officials have announced that Sandia Pueblo Governor Joe Lujan died early on Tuesday, October 19th. Governor of the Pueblo since his election in 2009, Governor Lujan will be respectfully remembered for many things, including his work on the T’uf Shur Bien Preservation Trust Area in the Cibola National Forest.

The settlement gave the Sandia Pueblo rights to 10,00o acres and settled long disputed land claims. The successful  civil suit, filed in 1994 against the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior, sought to clarify boundaries of the Pueblo of Sandia’s 1748 land grant by the King of Spain. The claim granted “a swath of land stretching from the Rio Grande to the ridge of the Sierra Madre called Sandia”.  T’uf Shur Bien means “Green Reed Mountain” in the Tiwa language.

The heated dispute between between Sandia Pueblo, the Forest Service and other federal agencies was finally settled in April of 2004 by the T’uf Shur Bien Preservation Trust Act and allows free and unrestricted use of the area for traditional, spiritual and cultural uses.

As a member of the All Indian Pueblo Council, Governor Joe, as he was known, was a passionate advocate of balancing  Native American traditions along with promoting modern improvements to make pueblo life easier.

Indian Country News says no funeral plans have been announced yet.

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