There are 19 Pueblo tribes in New Mexico, and each Pueblo is a sovereign nation. Today Pueblo people are located primarily in New Mexico, however, at one time our homeland reached into what is now Colorado and Arizona, where we established incredible dwellings and trading centers like those located at Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico and Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado. Pueblo people have preserved our identity in the face of multiple colonizing nations, and today, as always, we value our identity and traditional ways of life. At the same time we live in modern houses, working and living both on and off our reservations. Our beliefs and actions are still guided by Pueblo Core Values, which include Love, Respect, Compassion, Faith, Understanding, Spirituality, Balance, Peace and Empathy. We continue to participate in our traditional celebrations and ceremonies throughout the year, maintaining our connection to our communities, to our ancestors and to the earth.
“Sovereignty, in the words of our elders and spiritual leaders, is a right to our existence. The ultimate power of that existence, our Pueblo Way of Life, comes from the Creator. It was the Creator at the time of our Emergence, traveling from the spiritual world into this physical world, who gave the breath of life to us. We received Gifts to maintain our collective well-being emotionally, physically and spiritually along our journey.
Those Original Instructions fulfill our purpose, our sacred trust. It is a process of conscious engagement daily, as the Sun rises and when it sets, from season to season, with all of the elements of prayer. It provides us with understanding of our place in this Universe. It gives us our role with all our relations and with humanity; with the human ecology, guided by a sense of humaneness. That sense of humaneness guiding our relations with all things, defines our core values.
When we no longer live by those core values, we will perish. It means we would have lost our way, breaking our connection to all things. Nothing will be sacred. It would be the death of the life and the death of the spirit of our people. Our sacred trust is to maintain the knowledge and the spirit of the Original Instructions, preserving the right to that existence. Our Mother Earth is an essential part of that sovereignty. It is where we came from and it is where we will return. What we do to her, we do to ourselves.”
– Regis Pecos, New Mexico Leadership Institute