The pueblos’ roller-coaster rise to power

  • KIVA AT CHACO CANYON

    Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress
  • MISSION CHURCH, SAN JUAN PUEBLO

    Western History, Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library
  • Sandia Casino betting chip

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, "Indian Power."

1200-1500

Various tribes establish villages, which the Spanish will call "pueblos," along the Rio Grande. Some evidence suggests they are descendants of the Anasazi, whose settled and sophisticated civilization in places like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde collapsed around 1300.

1598

Conquistador Juan de O–ate claims the future New Mexico as a Spanish colony, establishing its first capital at San Gabriel, near San Juan Pueblo. O–ate's trek from Mexico City to New Mexico follows a path now known as El Camino Real, or The Royal Road. An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Indians live in New Mexico at the time.

1680, 1696

After years of economic exploitation and religious suppression, inhabitants of nearly all pueblos join in the "Pueblo Revolt" against the Spanish. The insurrection, which succeeds in driving out the Spanish for about 12 years, is lead by Pope from the San Juan Pueblo. In 1692, the Spanish launch their "reconquest" of New Mexico. Some Indians stage a second pueblo revolt in 1696, but without widespread participation, the effort fails.

1846-1848

Land-ownership disputes over Texas prompt the U.S. to declare war against Mexico in 1846. After two years of hostilities, U.S. troops march into Mexico and force the country to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gives the U.S. control of what is now Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico.

1912

After about 50 years as a territory, New Mexico becomes the 47th U.S. state. The action follows an earlier effort to pursue a joint statehood with Arizona, which was voted down by residents of the Arizona territory in 1906.

1948

A federal court declares that Native Americans should be allowed to vote in New Mexico elections. Although Indians could vote in national elections beginning in 1924, New Mexico officials had argued that, because Indians were not taxed, they could not vote in state elections.

1984

Sandia Pueblo begins bingo operations.

1995

Gov. Gary Johnson OKs gaming compacts, based on the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which gives the state authority to license and regulate casino gambling on tribal lands. Johnson's action is subsequently challenged in court, but later ratified by the state Legislature.

2002

Bill Richardson is elected governor of New Mexico. Richardson, a former U.S. congressman who represented the northern half of the state and also served as United Nations ambassador and Energy secretary under President Clinton, defeated another Hispanic candidate, Republican John Sanchez.

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