You are here: home   Issues   Pallids in Purgatory   History through a wide-angle lens
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

History through a wide-angle lens

Document Actions

History is conveniently framed in your story about the conflict over Taos land grants ("Troubled Taos," HCN, 8/20/12). Nowhere is the King of Spain's right to grant the land in the first place ever questioned. One cannot argue there is a greater good in returning the land grants to Spanish grantees on the basis of beneficial use without opening the frame of history a bit wider: The indigenous peoples in this area already had a vibrant and sustainable system of beneficial use in place when the Spaniards invaded, bringing with them the concept of land "ownership."

To leave the local indigenous communities entirely out of the story of the struggle to return lands to so-called rightful owners or to proper beneficial use is both disrespectful and shortsighted. 



Kathleen Dexter Penasco,
New Mexico

HCN responds

HCN also believes that a tribal perspective would be valuable. Our writer, J.R. Logan, tried to get comment from the Taos Pueblo, but the tribe declined. It's our understanding that many New Mexico tribes have strong opinions on the land grant controversies, but don't go public with their concerns.

Ray Ring
HCN Senior Editor

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM? |
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
Visiting the frosties of the Lost Sierra The wonders of the classic roadside stands that still dish out soft-serve ice cream.
International Car Forest of the Last Church For a strange trip, check out Nevada’s otherworldly Stonehenge of wildly painted abandoned vehicles.
Adventure travel vs. conservation A conversation with outdoor entrepreneur Bill Bryan.
All Culture & Communities
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone