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Governor voids territorial orders targeting Native Americans

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Morgan Lee
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AP Photo
About two dozen advocates for Native American communities gather in downtown Santa Fe, N.M., Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, when most government offices were closed in commemoration of Indigenous Peoples' Day, a state holiday.

New Mexico's governor has voided four pre-statehood proclamations that targeted Native Americans during what was a tumultuous time across the western frontier.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham described the 19th-century proclamations by former territorial governors as offensive.

She said rescinding the proclamations would help to heal old wounds and build bonds with Native American communities.

One proclamation called for Native Americans to be excluded from the census, while others targeted “hostile Indians” during the decades when the federal government tried to defeat Navajos, Apaches and others.

A Santa Fe historian discovered the proclamations in the archives of a California library and brought them to the attention of tribal and state officials.