Native American groups have inhabited the territory of New Mexico for thousands of years, many centuries before Europeans reached the Americas. When the Spanish came to New Mexico in the 1500s, they brought with them their Roman Catholic religion. Those missionaries traveled to this new territory to bring their faith to the Native American people and converted many. However, Native beliefs and customs persevered and became intertwined with those brought by the Spanish colonists.
There are 23 Indian tribes located in New Mexico - nineteen Pueblos, three Apache tribes (the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Mescalero Apache Tribe), and the Navajo Nation.
The nineteen Pueblos are comprised of the Pueblos of Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zuni and Zia.
Each Tribe is a sovereign nation with its own government, life-ways, traditions, and culture. All welcome visitors, but please make sure to check ahead of your visit as some communities close unexpectedly for religious or other cultural observations.