Our History

Pueblo de San Ildefonso

The San Ildefonso people are Tewa speaking and moved to their present location near Black Mesa along the Rio Grande close to 1300 A.D. The Tewa name for the Pueblo is Po-Woh-Geh-Owingeh, which means “Where the water cuts through. First contact was made with the Spanish in 1591. Part of the Spanish colonial policy was to require tribute from Pueblo communities. Franciscan missionaries tried to convert the Indians to Catholicism.

The San Ildefonso Indians played a major role in the great Pueblo Revolt of 1680 which is the only time that Native people in the Americas were able to prevail militarily over their colonial occupiers. However, disease and warfare decimated the San Ildefonso Indians so that after the Mexican American War in 1848 there were only 161 Tribal members left.

Congress created the modern pueblo in 1858. Today, San Ildefonso Pueblo is a self-governing federally recognized Tribe with a population of close to 800 Tribal members and about 260 homes mostly located in neighborhoods surrounding the traditional Village.

San Ildefonso Housing Authority took over housing responsibilities from the Northern Pueblos Housing Authority (NPHA) in order to comply with federal guidelines and properly meet the housing needs of the Pueblo. San Ildefonso Housing Authority assumed the responsibility of dissolving NPHA and began legally transferring properties. Prior to the formation of the San Ildefonso Housing Authority, no new housing had been built at the Pueblo for over 10 years despite the fact that the population increased substantially during that period. San Ildefonso Housing Authority is currently developing a twelve-unit housing project called Deer Tail Vista 2 with a couple more developments on the horizon. It will take at least a couple of years before homes can start being built.

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