Suit challenges aboriginal title to Valles Caldera

-A A +A

Courts > Motion to dismiss argues earlier claims trump Jemez Pueblo

By Arin McKenna

Second in a two-part series

In the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Jemez Pueblo lawsuit to reclaim tribal lands in Valles Caldera National Preserve, the government asserts that earlier land claims litigation divested the pueblo of its aboriginal title.

“Since around the beginning of the last century, popular understanding of Indian land rights has been based upon a political and cultural assumption that somehow or other all aboriginal Indian titles outside of BIA recognized reservation boundaries as somehow or other ‘taken,’” said Attorney Tom Luebben, who is representing Jemez Pueblo.

The government argument leans heavily on a claim that Jemez lost its aboriginal title in 1860 when Congress settled a claim by heirs of Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca by awarding them 500,000 acres within the New Mexico Territory. The Federal Land Department approved the 99,289-acre Baca Location No. 1, including the Valles Caldera, as part of that acreage.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday