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Domenici's Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Bill Signed into Law

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Domenici's Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Bill Signed into Law

Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senator Pete Domenici to place additional old Albuquerque Indian School property into trust for 19 New Mexico pueblos for future economic development has been signed into law by President Bush.

The Albuquerque Indian Schools Act (S.1193), which became law Tuesday, puts two parcels of federal property on 12th Street in Albuquerque into trust to benefit 19 New Mexico pueblos. The legislation was cosponsored by Senator Jeff Bingaman.

"This property transfer will give the pueblos further impetus to continue economic development projects that can have a long-term benefit for their people. I am happy this legislation has been signed into law so that this next step can begin and the good work at the old Albuquerque Indian School site can continue," said Domenici, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

"Now that this bill has been signed into law, New Mexico's pueblos can move forward with plans to use the land to create economic opportunities," Bingaman said.

Transfer of the two parcels—approximately nine acres—represents the second such transfer from the old Albuquerque Indian School.

Under the new law, the property will be taken into trust by the Interior Department and available for the "educational, health, cultural, business or economic development purposes of the 19 pueblos." The law prohibits gaming on the land, which is situated near downtown and Old Town and could serve purposes related to tourism, conferences and tribal business for both areas.

Domenici authored S.1193 in the 110th Congress in another attempt to authorize the land transfer, which the New Mexico pueblos had requested in 2003.

Following a 1981 request, Congress originally placed 44 acres of Indian School property, located north of I-40, into trust for the pueblos. Since then, the acreage has been developed by the pueblos and is home to two prominent Interior Department office buildings that house the BIA Southwest Regional Office, the National BIA Training Center and the BIA Data Center.

The 19 New Mexico pueblos that will benefit from this bill include: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Sandia, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia and Zuni.

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