New Mexico Indian Affairs Department

Policy Unit

Since the creation of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department ("IAD") in 2003 and the 2005 signing of Executive Order No. 2005-004, directing New Mexico executive departments to adopt tribal consultation plans, New Mexico leads the nation in groundbreaking state-tribal government-to-government relations. In roughly four years, IAD has worked hard to implement landmark state-tribal policies to move New Mexico forward.

At the core of these innovative policies is the IAD Policy Unit. The Policy Unit is vital to state-tribal governmental relationship building. The Policy Unit provides analysis and research services, training and information to the State of New Mexico and to New Mexico's twenty-two federally recognized tribal governments on matters of mutual concern; matters such as tribal consultation, education, health, community and economic development, legislative training and analysis, and the implementation of the governor's policy initiatives, among other policy initiatives.

The IAD Policy Unit works with state departments and tribal leadership to launch policies intended to improve the quality of life for Indian citizens of New Mexico.

To date, the Policy Unit has played an important role in the development of state tribal consultation policies, the development state-tribal legislation such as the Tribal Infrastructure Act, the Reburial Grounds Act, and the Indian Education Act, to name a few. With the increasing participation of tribal governments in state policy making and legislation, the Policy Unit will continue to be a key resource for the state and the Indian Pueblos, Nations, and Tribes of New Mexico.