Settler Colonialism in Turtle Island: Introduction

Published

Several years ago, Melanie worked as a program coordinator for the community outreach division of a tribal college. An inter-tribal workplace, staff and administrators are recruited and hired from dozens of different Native nations. One of Melanie’s colleagues — her boss, in fact — was from Zuni Pueblo, which is about two hours west of Albuquerque and forty minutes south of Gallup, the last major town in New Mexico that drivers heading west on Interstate 40 pass through before crossing the state boundary into Arizona. It is estimated that Zuni Pueblo covers up to 450,000 acres, with its entire western boundary following the state line that demarcates the border between Arizona and New Mexico. It is also adjacent to (almost surrounded by) various legal jurisdictions belonging to the greater Navajo Nation, the Native nation of which Melanie is a citizen.