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SCOTUS Upholds Indian Child Welfare Act, Fmr. Pueblo Gov. Reacts to Chaco Park Withdrawal & Juneteenth in NM

This week on New Mexico in Focus, Gene Grant and The Line Opinion Panel react to the 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision preserving a system that gives preference to Native Americans in adoption and foster care proceedings related to Native children. Then, the panel turns to the history of Juneteenth, how it became a holiday and its significance in New Mexico.  

New Mexico in Focus Correspondent Antonia Gonzales is getting new reaction to the U.S. Interior Department’s order to end oil and gas leases on federal lands in Chaco Culture National Historic Park and the 10-mile surrounding area. This week she speaks with a former Acoma Pueblo governor and current chair of the Chaco Heritage Tribal Association about the cultural significance of the park, and what the decision signals for the relationship between tribes and the federal government.  

Journalist Ed Williams has had his shovel out this past year, digging deep into our state’s troubled foster care system for nonprofit news outlets Searchlight New Mexico and ProPublica. Ed’s last handful of stories have revealed devastating abuses and entrenched systemic failures — with some of New Mexico’s most vulnerable kids bearing the brunt. The series has led to the beginnings of reform at the state Children, Youth and Families Department — and he’s far from finished reporting. This week, Senior Producer Laura Paskus asks Ed why this system is so broken, what it might take to turn things around and how he’s managed to keep digging amid so much trauma.  

Host: Gene Grant 

The Line Opinion Panel: 
Dede Feldman, Democratic former New Mexico state Senator 
Trip Jennings, executive director, New Mexico In Depth 
Michael Bird, former president of the American Public Health Association


Former Acoma Pueblo Governor Reacts to Chaco Park Withdrawal 
Correspondent: Antonia Gonzales 
Guest: Brian Vallo, former Governor of Acoma Pueblo, chair Chaco Heritage Tribal Association    

Reporting on Entrenched Systemic Failures in New Mexico Child Welfare
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: Ed Williams, Searchlight New Mexico