SANTA FE, N.M. — The Latest on Indigenous Peoples’ Day commemorations in New Mexico (all times local):
Native American leaders representing pueblo tribes throughout New Mexico are expressing new concern about the annual commemoration of the return of Spanish conquerors to Santa Fe after a 17th century Indian revolt.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales announced Monday that he has accepted an invitation to meet with the All Pueblo Council of Governors that represents 20 pueblo tribes in New Mexico and Texas to discuss the local tribute to Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas.
The annual reenactment of de Vargas’ 1692 arrival in Santa Fe was met with protests and a heavy police presence last month. Eight people were arrested on charges ranging from trespassing to assault on a police officer.
Critics of the de Vargas pageant say it obscures the cruelties inflicted on Native Americans by Spanish colonizers. Santa Fe’s Roman Catholic archbishop, John Wester, also has accepted an invitation to the meeting.
Santa Fe is celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day with a serious of Native American dance performances on the city’s downtown plaza. Last year Santa Fe began honoring Native Americans on the federal Columbus Day holiday.
The performances Monday take place amid simmering tensions over a separate annual local tribute to Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas, who led the 1692 return to Santa Fe of colonists who were driven out by a Native American revolt in 1680.
In September, eight people were arrested at protests of the ceremonial reenactment of de Vargas’ arrival. Critics of the pageant say it obscures the cruelties inflicted by de Vargas.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales has ordered a comprehensive survey of historical monuments and cultural events that is overdue for publication.