Cochiti Pueblo tribal leader to speak at WSU

PULLMAN – Regis Pecos, a lifetime member of the Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Council who has spent much of his professional life advancing the interests of Native Americans, will speak at Washington State University at 4 p.m. Oct. 19 in Room 518 of the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education.

Pecos’ presentation, “One Hundred Years of Failed Federal Indian Policy: Understanding the Crisis and Breaking the Cycle of Self-destruction,” is sponsored by the WSU Globalization, Diversity and Education Speaker Series.

Born and raised at Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico, Pecos has served terms as both governor and lieutenant governor of the Pueblo and been a Tribal Council member since 1978.

His previous posts include executive director of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs, a position he held for 16 years under four state governors; economic development specialist and director of research for Americans for Indian Opportunity; and instructor at the Institute for the Development of Indian Law. Additionally, he has served as the chief of staff for the Governor of the State of New Mexico and on numerous committees, boards, and task forces at all levels of government.

As a member of the Cochiti Pueblo Land Reacquisition Task Force, Pecos led an effort to return more than 35,000 acres of land to the Pueblo’s control. He has served also as a member of the Bernalillo Public Schools Board of Education and the Santa Fe Indian School Board, which he chaired for 12 years.

In 1996, Pecos became the first Native American to be appointed to the Princeton University Board of Trustees. Three years later, he received New Mexico’s highest honor when he was named the state’s Distinguished Public Servant.

Pecos earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Princeton in 1977 and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley.

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