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The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Division was created in 2003 to review, oversee and address concerns relating to the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that have not been implemented or observed in the spirit of Article 2, Section 5 of the Constitution of New Mexico. The Treaty Division has developed a work plan for addressing its statutory mission in order to support New Mexico’s community land grants and acequias who are a rich and critical part of our State’s history and remain a vital part of our present day culture.

The Treaty Division provides legal representation to the New Mexico Land Grant Council and the New Mexico Acequia Association. The Division’s vision is to take a proactive approach to finding solutions and responding to the evolving needs of the Land Grant Community by providing legal support, policy development and outreach. The Division focuses on leveraging training and education by leveraging partnerships with the individual land grants, the New Mexico Land Grant Council, New Mexico Highlands University Southwest Studies program, the University of New Mexico’s Land Grant Studies program. The Division also provides Open Meetings Act training to members of community land grants.

Brief History of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848 and officially ended the Mexican-American War. The Treaty explicitly recognized the personal and property rights of New Mexicans and Pueblo Indians brought under U.S. sovereignty. The U.S. developed procedures to validate land grants in the New Mexico territory in order to implement the Treaty provisions. Whether the U.S. carried out the provisions of the treaty with regard to community land grants has been a controversial issue as many land grant heirs, scholars and legal experts believe the U.S. did not protect the common lands of community land grants.  The treaty was incorporated into New Mexico’s State Constitution in 1912 and is part of the state’s legal and cultural heritage.