This is my home...or at least a view from my window. San Ildefonso Pueblo is one of the eight northern pueblos, located in Northern New Mexico. It has 800 registered members who call it home, as well. We moved here from Albuquerque almost 6 years ago. Our reasons for living here, where to bring up our children in a traditional way and to have a life rich in culture. However, to our dismay, it didn't go quite like that. However, despite our struggles and disappointments, this day has come, and surprisingly change has brought fourth the voice of women. Granted, they have always been there, but now they count.
As a Navajo woman who has enjoyed all the benefits of growing up on a matriarchal society, pueblo life is and has been quite different. The reality of being Navajo (with CIB 100% stamped on it) and living in Pueblo territory (reservation). What kind of rights do I have? I can't own land, I can't vote, I can't own my house...What are my rights?..This is my reality and I'm okay with it right now. However, for the women who grew up on this pueblo and have danced Corn Dance every August in the plaza, the right to vote or hold office has never been theirs. However, this reality has changed for them.
This is only the beginning. Out of the 800 tribal members, only 200-ish voted. Which means, not everyone is on board with this new era of thinking and decision making. These 3 women may find themselves in challenging positions, not only because they are serving on the council, but their presence is also challenging cultural and traditional roles that have been set in place for thousands of years. I commend all of them for taking on the responsibility of their families and their community on themselves. It is nice to here our men say... you are welcome to speak at the family meeting..we want to here what the women have to say.
Integrity, honesty, love for community are not only female qualities, but rather qualities our grandmothers and elders have been trying to teach us all along. We may have strayed from that, but hopefully this change will be for the better. We will just have to wait and see.
My husband tells me...especially when I'm having difficulty being strong and I'm faced with adversity.
"Be strong like a woman...Be strong like a man.."
Link to News on this:
San Ildefonso Women Elected to Counsel