SANTA FE – Civic leaders in New Mexico’s capital city turned the page Friday on a grinding dispute over the annual re-enactment of a 17th century conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe after a Native American revolt.
The decades-old pageant of Spanish soldiers in armor was replaced with new gestures of reconciliation at Santa Fe’s autumn festival that starts with Catholic Mass and a performance by Indian Pueblo dancers.
“Today marks a new beginning as we lay the past to rest through our mutual acknowledgement of the pain, agony and suffering that took place,” said Paul Torres, chairman of a council of tribal governors in New Mexico that helped negotiate an end to the re-enactment.
Critics of the re-enactment say it glorified colonialism and glossed over the continued violent subjugation the region’s Native American tribes endured.
Under the new plan, Santa Fe will host to a monthlong celebration that ends with Indigenous Peoples Day Oct. 8 at Santa Fe’s central plaza.