Three History department graduate students present talks on tumultuous times in New Mexico history. Listening to this streaming audio on your computer is an easy way to learn about interesting times as New Mexicans grappled with the issues of the day in the late 19th and early 20th century. Their research is partially sponsored by the New Mexico Office of the State Historian.
Indians on One Hand; Mexicans on the Other: Pueblos, Hispanos, and the Politics of Ethnicity in the Pueblo Lands Board Era, 1913-1933
Jacobo Baca is a Ph.D. candidate who grew up in Penasco, New Mexico, where decades old land disputes are still a topic of conversation.
In the 1920s, the U.S. Federal Government confronted a growing problem on New Mexico Pueblo Indian reservations: encroachments by surrounding Hispano and white settlers.
Violations of the Pueblo league were common since the Spanish Colonial era, but became more problematic when the Hispano population boomed in the late 19th century and looked to Pueblo lands to relieve the loss of their lands at the hands of land speculators.
The 1922 ‘Bursum Bill' notoriously sought to recognize 1200 odd individual land claims with little investigation into their legitimacy and no recompense to Pueblos for the expropriation of native lands and resources. A torrent of nationwide protest successfully defeated the ‘Bursum Bill' and resulted in the 1924 Pueblo Lands Act, creating a commission to examine the legitimacy of non-Indian title on Pueblo lands and recommend their confirmation or rejection in district court.
Baca's dissertation is titled "Somos Indigena: Ethnic Politics and Land Tenure in Modern New Mexico, 1904-2004." It explores ethnic politics in modern land tenure, the effect of these politics on Pueblo-Hispano relations, and the role of the State in the complex relationship that these communities that have neighbored one another for over two and a half centuries share. A native New Mexican, Baca received both his Bachelor's degree (2003) and Master's degree (2006) from the University of New Mexico.
The All Pueblo Council and Political Sovereignty in the 1920s
Robin Walden, a master's candidate examines how pueblo leaders were able to defend their land rights and traditions while negotiating with various bodies set up by the U.S. government.
He takes a close look at the 'Bursum Bill', the Pueblo Lands Board Act, and the political context of these measures of the 1920s. He says historians have traditionally paid little attention to the ways the Pueblo people helped determine their own futures. The pueblos organized around the All Pueblo Council, and that council and its leaders proved to be of crucial importance as the pueblos worked to protect their lands from the political process.
Walden's thesis project concerns the All Indian Pueblo Council. He is studying the history of the U.S. West, focusing on Native American history in the 20th century.
New Mexico on Display: Politics and Image at the Territorial Fairs, 1881-1912
Bryan Turo, a PhD. candidate, examines the New Mexico Territorial Fairs between 1881 and 1912 as they hosted political discussion, social development and brought an attempt at modernizing New Mexico. The fairs tried to showcase the territory as a place ready for equal recognition among the United States. His talk shows how organizers endeavored to display the territory to a local, regional and national audience and changed the political possibilities and reality during this uncertain period in New Mexico history.
Turo is studying U.S. history, the history of the American West, Southwestern History and Borderland Studies. He completed his master's degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson and his Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University in New York. His research interests include the territorial period and state formation in the Southwest, including a focus on politics, culture and identity.
The Center for Southwest Research, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico hosted the lectures. The scholars program in the Office of the State Historian was established to promote an understanding and appreciation of New Mexico History by supporting scholarly research in New Mexico archival repositories. For information about the scholars program, contact Dennis Trujillo at (505) 476‑7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email@example.com