Protecting the Health and Heritage of New Mexico’s Pueblo

Protecting the health and heritage of New Mexico’s pueblos

A recently formed relief fund aims to keep the state’s Native peoples safe, while preserving their rich culture

For New Mexico’s Pueblos, 19 sovereign nations comprising the region’s two dozen tribes, the risks the coronavirus poses are profound. “The elders are the most important link to a tribe’s identity,” says Beverlee J. McClure, vice president of cultural and community engagement at New Mexico’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. “Losing the elders could mean losing the language, history, and culture of the Pueblos.”

In the video above, McClure discusses how the Pueblos are working to uphold their traditions but also adjust to minimize the impact of the coronavirus—though Native peoples make up roughly 10% of the population, they account for nearly a third of the state’s coronavirus cases.

To provide support to the Pueblos during the coronavirus, The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, an Albuquerque museum dedicated to preserving the arts, cuisine and history of Pueblo cultures, partnered with the All Pueblo Council of Governors, local and national businesses, and public agencies to form the Pueblo Relief Fund. The immediate goal of the fund is to provide much-needed food, personal protective equipment and other supplies to the 74,000 residents of New Mexico’s Pueblos, as well as one in Texas. Looking ahead, the fund, which Bank of America supported with a $50,000 grant, will address persistent issues such as poverty and underfunded health services in the Pueblos to assist their long-term recovery.

As nonprofits like the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center adjust to addressing increased needs in their local communities, Bank of America is supporting them. Learn more about the bank’s $100 million philanthropic commitment to more than 1,300 nonprofits on the front lines meeting needs brought on by the coronavirus.

Originally published 09/22/2021