Pueblo de San Ildefonso Law Library
Pueblo de San Ildefonso Code. Findings

(a) The Pueblo de San Ildefonso ("Pueblo") possesses inherent sovereign powers over the Pueblo's lands, wherever situated; and

(b) Pursuant to the Santa Fe Indian School Act of 2000, Public Law 106-568 §§ 821-824, 114 Stat. 2868, 2919 ("SFIS Act") approximately 115 acres of land, which includes the Santa Fe Indian School ("SFIS") and the Indian Health Service Unit properties, was taken into trust by the United States for the benefit of the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico ("SFIS Trust Lands" or "Indian School Tract"). The lands are to be used for the educational, health and cultural purposes of the Santa Fe Indian School, including use for related non-profit or technical programs, as operated by Santa Fe Indian School, Inc., ("SFIS, Inc.") the non-profit corporation chartered under the State of New Mexico and wholly owned by the 19 Pueblo; and

(c) The SFIS Trust Lands are part of Indian Country and not subject to City, State or County Laws; and

(d) In 2004, each of the 19 Pueblos delegated its authority on all matters related to the governance, operation and administration of the SFIS Trust Lands to the SFIS, Inc. and its Board of Trustees ("Board"), the entity also responsible for educational functions of the SFIS. In 2006 with such new authority, the SFIS Board adopted the first amended and re-stated Articles of Incorporation and in 2008 the Board adopted the second amended and restated Bylaws; and

(e) In 2012, in response to concerns of Pueblo Governors that economic development and governance of the SFIS Trust Lands was taking precedence over education activities, the SFIS, Inc. Board adopted Resolution No. 20120511 committing to the separation of educational functions of the SFIS and the economic development projects on the SFIS Trust Lands and further committing to work toward consensus with the 19 Pueblos before proceeding with the establishment of any type of governance activity; and

(f) At a Special Governors meeting in July 2015, the Governors adopted Resolution No. 20150720 reaffirming their support for the separation of governance functions for the SFIS Trust Lands from the SFIS educational functions, and establishing a Governance Subcommittee consisting of Governors and other designated tribal representatives to analyze the options for a separate governance structure; and

(g) The 19 Pueblos established the Albuquerque Indian School District ("AISD") as the governmental entity responsible for the Albuquerque Indian School trust lands and the governing authority is exercised by the AISD Governing Council, comprised of the 19 Pueblo Governors; and

(h) Pursuant to the SFIS, Inc. Member Resolution No. 20151105, each of the Governors adopted the Governance Subcommittee's recommendation that the governance structure in place at the AISD be used for governance of the SFIS Trust Lands and directed a transition of governance responsibilities for the SFIS Trust Lands to AISD; and

(i) Pursuant to AISD Governing Council Resolution No. GC 2015-12, the AISD Governing Council adopted the AISD Oversight Commission's recommendation that the AISD governance structure be used for governance of the SFIS Trust Lands; and

(j) On September 22, 2017 at a duly called meeting, the AISD Governing Council voted to amend the existing AISD Charter to include new provisions on governance of SFIS Trust Lands. The vote failed by the following vote count: Six (6) in favor, eight (8) against and four (4) abstaining; and

(k) On December 5, 2017, March 13, 2018, and July 24, 2018, at duly called meetings of SFIS Member/Shareholders, the SFIS, Inc. Board was directed to develop a standalone SFIS District charter based on a political subdivision of the 19 Pueblos and which memorializes the land-use limitations in the SFIS Act; and

(l) On or around 2018, each of the 19 Pueblos repealed each of their 2004 resolutions delegating governance authority over SFIS Trust Lands to the SFIS, Inc. and its Board. Certain Pueblos repealed the 2004 resolutions subject to the establishment of a "SFISD Governing Council" which would assume jurisdiction over SFIS Trust Lands. However, thus far, there has not been consensus amongst the 19 Pueblos on any proposed structure to govern the SFIS Trust Lands nor has a charter/bylaws document for a SFISD Governing Council or an alternative body been established; and

(m) The governance structure of the SFIS and the SFIS Trust Lands, including authorities of the 19 Pueblo Governors in relation to the SFIS Board have remained unclear, creating a risk of reversion of the SFIS Trust Lands to the United States pursuant to the SFIS Act. A Charter and Bylaws for the SFISD Governing Council must be established by the 19 Pueblos to avoid further confusion, dysfunction and risk of non-compliance with the SFIS Act; and

(n) The SFISD Governing Council would be a wholly controlled tribal entity of the 19 Pueblo Members of the SFIS; and

(o) The SFISD Governing Council would consist of 19 Pueblo Members each represented by their respective Governor, and its purposes would be to govern, manage, and operate the historic Santa Fe Indian School District (i.e. SFIS Trust Lands) for the "educational, health or cultural purposes, including use for related non-profit or technical programs, as operated by Santa Fe Indian School, Inc.[,]" subject to limitations on land use; and

(p) With the Charter of the SFISD Governing Council shall have the sole governance, management, or administrative authority over SFIS Trust Lands; and

(q) All operation of the SFIS, Inc. shall rest with the Board of Trustees for the SFIS, Inc; and

(r) The SFISD Governing Council would serve as its own fiscal agent. The Pueblo de San Ildefonso would have no liability for costs associated with the SFISD Governing Council unless the Pueblo specifically authorizes such payment; and

(s) The Council determines that it is in the best interest of the Pueblo, as joint owner of the SFIS Trust Lands, to authorize the establishment of a stable governance structure to govern and manage the SFIS Trust Lands; and