A Message from Mayor Alan Webber, Santa Fe Indian Affairs Department Tribal Leaders

June 17, 2020



It is time to stop celebrating violence and it is time to celebrate the reconciliation in our future. We need to listen to the young people, return to our community-wide conversations, and keep the peace.

We have arrived at a moment of moral truth. Rather than shrink in fear from this moment we need to embrace it. We’ve been called to do it by Native American and Hispanic community leaders, leaders of faith groups, friends, and family members. It is long overdue.


We need to move past the monuments and turn a page in our history.

That is why today I am calling for the removal of three statues on Santa Fe city property: The Kit Carson statue at the Courthouse; the Don Diego de Vargas statue at the Cathedral; and the Obelisk in the Plaza.


I intend to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address our shared history, our shared pain, and our shared commitment to reconciliation.

I will ask that commission to coordinate a review of the many and different kinds of the public monuments and statues in our city and to consider how each should be treated.


Monuments are one way we remember and keep alive our history, but these symbols must speak the truth about the full history, not just that of the victors. That is the only way we will heal as a community. To view the full video update from Mayor Webber please visit https://youtu.be/gMzpd98ORrk


Indian Affairs Department issues joint statement with tribal leaders Brian D. Vallo, Governor, Pueblo of Acoma, and Robert A. Mora, Sr., Governor, Pueblo of Tesuque on removal of statues in Santa Fe


“I applaud Mayor Alan Webber and the City of Santa Fe for its decision to remove several statues on city grounds.


As we are seeing throughout the state and across the world, people of good conscience are coming together to change how we think about powerful symbols like statues. It is no longer enough to present just one version of history. We owe it to all those who lived it to portray the full complexity of our shared past.


These statues, which celebrated the killing of Native peoples, have excluded New Mexico’s tribes from this shared history. We look forward to supporting all those who want to work toward a more complete retelling of our history and thank Mayor Webber for his leadership.”


-Lynn Trujillo, Secretary, Indian Affairs Department


“The Pueblo of Acoma extends our gratitude to Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber for his decision to remove three statues from Santa Fe: the obelisk with an inscription referencing Pueblo people as “Savage Indians” located in the center of the historic plaza; a statue of Don Diego at St. Francis Basilica; and a statue of Kit Carson located near the Courthouse.


For decades, our Pueblo has opposed similar statues glorifying Juan de Oñate throughout New Mexico. There is absolutely no place for these symbols that glorify the mass killing of our people. It is clear that times have changed and there is a new openness to discuss how to better memorialize our shared history in a way that promotes deeper understanding and cooperation. Our Pueblo stands ready to participate in these conversations, and we thank Mayor Webber for his leadership on this matter.”


Brian D. Vallo, Governor, Pueblo of Acoma


“The Pueblo of Tesuque stands with Mayor Alan Webber and the City of Santa Fe in their decision to remove several statues from City property.


The Obelisk in the Plaza, which sits on land originally belonging to the Pueblo, has long been an affront to our people and history. Mayor Webber’s actions continue the better course, set forth in the Entrada dialogue, toward truth and reconciliation.

It is time that we--all of us who live as neighbors in northern New Mexico, and whose families go back generations--take responsibility for our shared history, not seen through one perspective only, but through all of our perspectives. That history is not simple, like a fairy tale. It is complex and nuanced, with deep pain and happiness alike. But that is the history we must now start telling, because it is the truth.”


Robert A. Mora, Sr., Governor, Pueblo of Tesuque

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