Carol Jean Vigil, first Indian judge, dies at 61
Carol Jean Vigil, a Tesuque Pueblo woman who broke race and gender barriers, died last Friday. She was 61.

Vigil was the first Indian be elected as a state judge in New Mexico and the first Indian in the U.S. to be elected as a judge of a general jurisdiction court. She was the first Pueblo woman to pass the New Mexico bar exam.

"She was very serious about her work, really concerned about getting it right," attorney C. Bryant Rogers told The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Vigil was elected to her state court position in 1998. She retired in 2005.

Get the Story:
Dedicated Native American judge broke race barrier (The Santa Fe New Mexican 3/29)
Judge Made Big Strides for American Indians (The Albuquerque Journal 3/30)