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The Tribal Education Trust Fund: Get ready for another push in 2025!

Feb 19, 2024

As you may have heard by now, the Tribal Education Trust Fund (HB 134) did not cross the finish line at this year’s legislative session. We came very close to making history, as the bill was awaiting its final vote on the Senate floor. But in the end, there wasn’t enough time to address all the questions being raised at the last minute.

We are encouraged by the overwhelming support the Trust Fund received, both in the Roundhouse and all around New Mexico. This would not have been possible without you. You made your voice heard and stood up to demand equity and justice for Native children and tribal nations.

The Tribal Education Alliance and Rep. Derrick Lente, the primary bill sponsor, are extremely grateful for your support!

What happens next?

The $50 million allocated to the Trust Fund – which would have been the largest single investment in tribal education – will now go back into the state’s coffers.  This is a loss for every Native student in New Mexico and perpetuates the inequities at the core of the Yazzie/Martinez case.  With a long-term investment in Indigenous education priorities like language revitalization, the state could have finally put an end to 150 years of forced assimilation.

Nevertheless, the Tribal Education Alliance remains undeterred. The overwhelming support for the Tribal Education Trust Fund shows us that times are changing. No longer can the state simply make decisions on behalf of sovereign Tribes. No longer can the state sideline Native students, their families, and their communities. The Trust Fund proposal has brought our Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos together, jointly claiming their right to education sovereignty.

At a final press conference, House Speaker Martínez challenged the New Mexico legislature to get the Tribal Education Trust Fund done next year. We count on you to be part of this effort.