Our Genízaro Identity

Know more about who we (and you) are! Key to knowing your heritage is awareness of the people who settled our Land Grant. Our Genízaro heritage stems significantly from the reasons why our ancestors sought for and were selected to settle this Land Grant.

The members of our family that settled here sought land, and this was the only way they could obtain land. Among them were hispanicized captive indigenous slaves, seeking to establish a way to become independant and provide for their families.

Our people were granted the land in exchange for becoming the first defense to protect Albuquerque from marauding Indians from the east – our home stretches west to east in the narrow canyon that links Carnuel to what is now Tijeras and San Antonio.

Defending Albuquerque from the east was not easy, and there many stories about attacks and deaths. As tensions eased there are also stories of trading and mutually beneficial relationships with the tribes from the east.

Discover more about the role of the Genízaro – defined as a Comanche, Ute, Kiowa, Apache, Pawnee, Pueblo or Navajo taken as slaves by each other, or by Spanish colonists and their destinies in New Mexico by reading the books and articles noted below.

DNA analysis can be revealing…if you are a descendant of one of the settlers of our Land Grant, there is a fair chance that you will have at least 30% indigenous DNA, and perhaps more. Stories from your family history may reveal the specific heritage of your indigenous DNA.

Learn more about us (and yourself) from these articles, and from two important new books that will be available this year!
– Click here to learn more about Nación Genízara the book that Moises Gonzales, our Land Grant President has co-edited with Enrique Lamadrid, UNM Professor Emeritus. It will be published this fall by UNM Press.
– Click here to learn more about an important new book about Genízaro identity, dignity and the law – Slavery in the Southwest – coauthored by Moises Gonzales and Bill Piatt, a NM Native and Law Professor.
– Read this wonderful article from NPR (National Public Radio) about Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity
-Read this illuminating article from the NYT (New York Times) that reveals more about how Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It