Albuquerque, Laguna, Thelma discussed on Native America Calling

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Native voice one the Native American radio network. This is native America calling. I'm Sean spruce. At one time, urban centers all along what was then route 66 housed off reservation colonies of native citizens. They were drawn to the promise of jobs, working on expansion of freight and passenger rail service westbound toward Los Angeles. Few remnants of those native enclaves remain in any organized way, except in one case. The laguna Pueblo colony in Albuquerque. They continue to maintain regular readings and have frequent contact with leadership at the main Pueblo 60 miles west of the city. Today we'll get the history of the laguna colony of Albuquerque and learn about the enduring legacy of its members. And of course, we want to hear from you as well. Are you familiar with the lagoon colony? Are you a laguna colony? Member. Are there similar offshoot communities from your tribe? Give us a call, the number one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. That's one 809 9 native. With us today from Albuquerque, New Mexico is Ron Solomon. He's the chair of the laguna colony of Albuquerque, and he's from the Pueblo of laguna. Ron. Welcome to Native American calling. That's good to hear your voice. It's good to be here with you. And we're looking forward very much to educating the public about who we are here in the city of Albuquerque. It's good to be with you. Good to hear your voice as well, brother. Also, an Albuquerque is Cynthia figueroa. McIntyre, she's a retired architect, she's laguna and yaki. Cynthia. Thank you. Happy to be here, Sean. Happy to have you here, Cynthia. And joining us from Rio Rancho, New Mexico is thelma and Antonio. She has a background in architecture, planning and historic preservation. She's from the laguna Pueblo. Go out see thelma. Drastic. We also used a shower handle and a front wash system. Good morning, everyone. My name is thelma and I am a parrot clan and little sun clan and I'm glad to be joining in today. And joining us from Albuquerque, New Mexico is doctor Jodi Bertha. She's an English writing instructor at Southwest polytechnic institute. She is laguna Pueblo, danae, and hunk papa Lakota. Go out see Jody. Go watch this. Good morning. Ron, the laguna Pueblo of Albuquerque are focused for today's show. It has a very unique history, dating back a number of years. Please take us back to the beginning. What started the urban colonies from laguna like the one in Albuquerque. Well, that is the subject of a lot of research that has been done by our sister thelma. And I think she'll cover some of that in terms of the colonies that were established as part of the westward Ho effort in terms of the railroad expansion that went from the east coast to the West Coast and which resulted in colonies of laguna people, as well as members of outcome of Pueblo Navajo Nation and other tribes. I'm sure that became members of steel gangs and from our historical standpoint, colonies were established at Gallup, New Mexico, Winslow, Arizona, barstow, California, and some semblance of a colony also in Los Angeles. And another major colony up in Richmond, California in the Bay Area. So those were all those were colonies that basically provided the home basis for young laguna families that chose to go out west with the railroad as part of negotiated arrangement called the watering the flower friendship. And that was really nothing that was well documented other than it was a sort of a standard practice every year for our leadership from laguna to meet with railroad executives along the tracks there. And to meet with our members of our Pueblo that lived in those colonies. Now run that was falling 1880 when the railroad just started expansion westward. Okay, thank you. That's what I was curious about is what the timeline was for that. Now, Ron, these colonies were granted a very special status and relationship with the Pueblo of laguna, can you explain what that was? Well, basically, they are settlements of lagunas and they were identified in the constitutional language and referenced as colonies of laguna. I know it sounds like we were colonizing those areas. And I guess in effect we were, you know, because those communities really recognize the impacts of the laguna people residing in those particular towns and cities so they had pretty they were pretty impactful. But our Pueblo recognized those settlements of lagunas and basically treated them with great integrity and recognition of who they were in terms of the young leaders, really that went off and became leaders within those colonies across the west. So they maintained yearly kind of visitations, almost like whistle stop tours. Quite the laguna leadership would get on the train there in laguna and head out west and visit the colonies, visit the leadership of the railroad where they were located and then go on to the next colony in the next colony in the next colony and have those kind of visitations, which was really helped to maintain the culture and language of our people as well. And then just to learn more details about what was going on at the Pueblo. Really fascinating and as I understand it, laguna tribal members and other tribes that were in these settlement arrangements. They actually were able to ride the rails for free, which I think was really helpful in promoting that exchange. Ron in addition to the Albuquerque colony, where were the other laguna colonies along the railroad located. Well, they were located at Gallup, New Mexico, Winslow, Arizona, barstow, California and Richmond, California. And like I mentioned, there might have been one in Los Angeles as well, but that's less clear from a historic and research standpoint, at least to me. Our tribal sister thelma really has taken a careful look through the eyes of the descendants of our members of laguna colonies that actually went out as young families and so she's really done some nice interviews with those individuals so perhaps she could add something to this. Well, let's bring thelma Antonio into the conversation. Thelma, now the colonies elected officers, they observe feast days and other ceremonial events. They really functioned as many versions of the Pueblo back home. Can you talk about that in more detail? Ah, yes, and because they were written into the constitution, they also mimics having a governor lieutenant governor secretary and I know a little counsel on their own. And also they organize themselves and they live communally. So everything that they took from that home, they took to their areas that they lived off the railroad. Near the track, basically they lived in box cars. So it was easy for them to live communally versus getting scattered within the city..

Coming up next