VIDEO: National Congress of American Indians honors Pueblo leader Joe Garcia
Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2024
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The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) honors the late Joe Garcia at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Garcia was a leader from Ohkay Owingeh, one of the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. He served three terms as governor of his tribe and was serving as head councilman when he passed away on May 11, 2023, at the age of 70.

Garcia, whose Tewa language name was Sokuwa Owing Taa, meaning “Mark of the Misty Lake,” also served as chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council, representing all of the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. The organization is currently known as the All Pueblo Council of Governors.

Garcia won election twice as president of NCAI, the largest inter-tribal advocacy organization in the United States. He served two terms, from 2005 through 2009.

In honor of his achievements, Garcia received the Special Recognition Award from NCAI on February 14, 2024. NCAI President Mark Macarro announced the honoring at the organization’s 25th annual leadership awards banquet in the nation’s capital.

Accepting the award on behalf of Garcia’s family is Raymond Aguilar, a leader from the Pueblo of Santo Domingo, also known as Kewa, who serves as the Southwest Vice President for NCAI. Aguilar provided remarks in English and in the Keres language.

The awards ceremony took place at the conclusion of NCAI’s executive council winter session in D.C.

Note: Thumbnail photo of Joe Garcia at Ohkay Owingeh by Larry Lamsa (CC BY 2.0 DEED)