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Senator Udall Bows Out

Much has been written here about the failure of the BIA to add legal safeguards before turning over the historic Santa Fe Indian School campus to the All Indian Pueblo Council. But the lack of those covenants doesn’t get the Council off the hook.

The new school was built with Federal tax dollars, so before ground was broken, an environmental impact statement was required. Prepared by a contractor called Marron and Associates in 2002, the report flatly stated that “no buildings will be razed.” (It would be interesting to know whether that included the Paolo Soleri.) The report, which is referenced in a letter from the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division to Robert B. Montoya and Bruce Harrill of the BIA, went on to specify the following:

	All vacated buildings will be maintained to the extent they
	have been maintained in the past. A study will be made as to
	the best use of the existing buildings. This study will be
	coordinated with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the new
	Mexico Historic Preservation office.

Which, of course, didn’t happen. Without any consultation the old campus was destroyed. The new school, in other words, was built in violation of the very conditions under which it was approved. So many illegalities with no one being held to stand account.

Yesterday, in an interview with KSFR’s Dan Gerrity, Senator Udall made clear that he has no intention of intervening in these matters. In fact, the Senator’s response was so lackluster that the station is unsure whether it will even be broadcast. Bill Dupuy, the news director, has given me permission to post the recording. You can listen to it here.

George Johnson

The Santa Fe Review