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Tribal Leaders To Tour Sacred Sites At Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

PHOTO: Several of New Mexico's Native American tribal leaders are touring historic sites today at the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, which President Barack Obama is considering designating as a National Monument. Photo courtesy U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.
PHOTO: Several of New Mexico's Native American tribal leaders are touring historic sites today at the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, which President Barack Obama is considering designating as a National Monument. Photo courtesy U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.
May 2, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Several of New Mexico's Native American tribal leaders are touring historic sites today at the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, which President Barack Obama is considering whether to designate as a national monument.

Rafael Gomez, tribal council member at the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo will be on the tour.

He says there are petroglyph drawings in the region that chronicle centuries of Native American life.

"There's pictures of the wildlife that used to exist back then, pictures of serpents, and there's pictures of directions,” he points out. “You're talking about a people that knew how to use the stars."

New Mexico's Pueblo Council of Governors endorsed the proposed national monument in a joint resolution, citing the spiritual and historic resources in the region and their enduring impact on Native American culture.

Gomez says designating the Organ Mountains as a national monument will help ensure that its history will be protected and preserved for generations to come.

"It gives protection for future generations,” he stresses. “That way when I'm not here no more, or you’re not here no more, at least it's protected for our kids to come."

Gomez says many businesses in the Las Cruces area also support the national monument designation, because it will boost the local economy with added tourism.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM