Dear Mesa Grande Citizens;
As you know, on Ocober 12th 2014, the General Council enacted the Mesa Grande Homeland Restoration Act (“HRA”), which became effective on November 11th 2014. Soon after its enactment, we began preparations for implementation of the HRA, including a community clean up day scheduled for December 14th 2014. We also sent a copy of the HRA to the Department of Interior, the Santa Ysabel Tribe, and to our Senators and Members of Congress. We detailed for them all, that the Mesa Grande Band had enacted the HRA in order to exercise the rights of Mesa Grande and its citizens have to Tract I and Tract II under the 1978 decision of former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forest Gerard.
After sending copies of the HRA, we received a letter from Santa Ysabel Chairman Virgil Perez suggesting that we meet to discuss the HRA and issues related to Tract I and Tract II. Mesa Grande has always been willing to meet with Santa Ysabel Tribe to work toward a permanent and fair solution of the situation regarding Tract I and Tract II. While we do not know whether a meeting with the Santa Ysabel Tribe will lead to further discussions, the Mesa Grande Business Committee believes it is important to accept the offer to meet and see if the Santa Ysabel Tribe is willing to work together towards a long term solution. We are working with the Santa Ysabel Tribe to schedule a meeting to take place before Christmas.
Under section 5.4 of the HRA, the Business Committee is authorized to expedite, postpone, or suspend the effective date and implementation of the HRA. In order to help insure a productive meeting, the Mesa Grande Business Committee has adopted a resolution using the section 5.4 authority to postpone implementation of the HRA for (30) thirty days. Hence, the Mesa Grande clean up day scheduled for December 14th 2014 will be postponed until further notice.
After the meeting with the Santa Ysabel Tribe has taken place, the Mesa Grande Business Committee will review the decision to postpone the implementation of the HRA. If the meeting with the Santa Ysabel Tribe is productive and possible to resolve our claim to Tract I and Tract II with continued discussions, we will further postpone HRA implementation. If we cannot resolve the situation through discussions with the Santa Ysabel Tribe, the Mesa Grande Business Committee will move forward with the implementation of the HRA and will reschedule the Community clean up day and begin to accept applications for assistance under Title I and Title II of the Mesa Grande Homeland Restoration Act.
We appreciate your patience and perseverance in this very important task.
-The Mesa Grande Business Committee