The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo awoke Monday morning to an act of vandalism that struck at the heart of the traditional Tigua community in the Lower Valley.
According to Tigua officials, the new Nestoa Piarote statue in front of the tribe’s cultural center was vandalized sometime overnight Sunday into Monday. Once dawn broke, community members saw the statue with what appeared to be red paint poured over the work of art.
Sergio Loera, Traditional Council Member, says the timing of the vandalism could not have come at a worse time.
“It’s just outrageous that this occurred right after our Pow Wow celebration – ‘Rocking the Rez‘ – and right on Columbus day,” Loera said. “as indigenous people all around the country and here as well still feel the well-known pain as a result…this really hurts.” The tribe is also set to celebrate Pueblo Reunion Day.
Loera went on to say that many local residents saw the vandalism on their way to work or taking their children to school, and notified Tribal Police.
He added that nothing like this has ever happened to any of the displays at the cultural center – a valley mainstay since the 1990’s.
The Nestoa Piarote statue was installed at the cultural center in July of this year.
The Tigua Tribal Police are asking anyone with information to reach out and contact them (915-860-9653) and a reward of between $1000 and $2000 is being offered by Tigua officials for information leading to legal action against those who vandalized the statue.