Laguna, Laguna Pueblo, Albuquerque discussed on Native America Calling
Story. Oh, sure. At one point, I guess for a venture a couple of youth ended up getting the train and wonder where it went. So they went all the way to Chicago and they stopped at every stop to look at the site. And I think what they were really getting are really the information that we're looking for is something to do with bands because they create a rock and roll band. And so they have, I guess, in their info and found out where it was they were delayed and came back home. And using that railroad all the way to Chicago and back. That is really, really cool. I'm curious, how did all of this work on the railroad, traveling, time spent away from home? What kind of impact did that have on laguna Pueblo overall? Was this a positive thing for the entire community? Oh, yes, it started out that way because the friendship agreement and the flower friendship agreement. That was specifically to give jobs to laguna people. And that was one thing that the government at the time they were trying to stop the construction, but they knew that it wasn't going to happen. So one of the things that they could negotiate with jobs because they started the public started entering into that wage economy. And so but there was really no jobs around where used to the agrarian society. And planting and harvesting, gathering, but now it's turned to a wage economy. So there have to be something there to help the global and then the call went out to all the villages and so interested in men came forth and they get to them that they were going to be put in certain duty stations along the way. And so they ended up ending up in one of the colony. And eventually it went to the outcome of people too. I see, I see. So economics were definitely a big factor in this whole story. I'd like to bring Ron back into the conversation and one facet that I find so fascinating about this story is the connection we see in Indian country between what I would refer to as culture and homeland. And Ron, unfortunately, I don't think many tribes have had a lot of success with regard to maintaining and organized and formal relationship with members who move off reservation to urban areas. Especially a relationship that fosters what I consider a high level of tribal specific cultural engagement. And we can look at the relocation era as an example, so much was lost when individuals and families moved away, especially language. But what I'm hearing here today, what you and thelma are describing is an urban cultural preservation model that worked. And that's truly amazing. Why do you think the Pueblo of laguna was so successful in their efforts and why weren't colonies such as this adopted by more tribes? What are your thoughts on that Ron? Well, of course I can speak only for laguna and our colony membership as well as our the leadership that existed in the past. And to try to understand and come to terms with the need to fill that gap in terms of the number of miles away from the Pueblo and what that how that impact that language and cultural preservation. So they had the recent intentionality there that was built into the colonies. And that was provided for by the leadership of the Albuquerque colony as well as the other colonies that thelma was so kind to share the history of and a lot of it was just language instruction, some cultural instruction, maybe even some art instruction and those were intentional efforts on the part of our Pueblo and the colony leadership to maintain the cultural ties that are people just so long for. And in an urban context too, there are ways in which people gathered. And of course, we're a big chili eaters here in the southwest. So before the state fairs that takes place every year, there was always a gathering of our members, warned the men would roast the green Chile and to the women would peel the chili, they would have a steak fry, but all of that just brought the community to together. And they were able to converse and tell jokes, of course, in our native tongue and their own better, you only get the point if you can understand. So there was a teaching moment, probably every time those gatherings occurred so that people could explain, okay, well, so funny, you know, because as time went along, the fact that our people in this context here in Albuquerque are actually scattered really among the other communities here, the different parts of the city and as you heard mentioned, some of us live in real Rancho, others here in the heart of Albuquerque, so we're not collected. As in the case of the railroad colonies out west, where they had the boxcars and they were approximately situated, and for me, the first 5 years of my life, both sets of my grandparents were in Gallup at the Gallup colony there. And so I saw them driving in that community mainly because the grand folk grandfathers were earning a wage and could provide for their families. And so I experienced that firsthand as a child and then eventually moved back to the Pueblo. And so the success really can be attributed to the forethought of our both the tribal leadership at laguna as well as and their willingness to come and visit so such things as the annual governor's dinner when the governor was elected and new council members, the colony with put on a dinner in Albuquerque. And of course, to give the listeners an idea of how proximate we are, our tribal lands actually begin about 19 miles outside the center of Albuquerque, continue out west and the hub of laguna is really at the village of old laguna, our capital, and that's about 45 miles west of Albuquerque interstate 40. And of course, in state 40 is the big commercial court or just like the railroad is. So that proximity also really helped to maintain the language and culture because with that kind of proximity, you can go home as we all say, because we all refer to laguna as our home and where we live here in Albuquerque or some urban setting across the country. That's where we live. That distinction or that dichotomy is also an interesting one because it's really ingrained and not our brains and then also in our hearts that that's our home. So we never forget that. So that also just that inherent kind of feeling for laguna is something that really contributed to our ability to maintain the cultural and linguistic ties to our mother Pueblo. Ron, thanks for sharing that background so much rich history with this laguna colony of Albuquerque and these other colonies as well that you mentioned in Arizona and even into California. I'd like to now bring Cynthia figueroa Mac and tier into the conversation. Cynthia, how long have you been involved with the laguna Pueblo of Albuquerque colony? And in what.