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Governor names former NAP Director Josett D. Monette as new Indian Affairs Department secretary

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today named Josett D. Monette as Cabinet Secretary of the Indian Affairs Department, succeeding current Secretary-designate James R. Mountain, who will transition to the governor’s office as senior policy advisor for tribal affairs.

Monette has served at the Indian Affairs Department since March 2023 when she was appointed as general counsel. She was appointed to deputy secretary in July 2023.

“Both former Secretary-designate Mountain and Secretary-designate Monette are proven leaders who are dedicated to serving the Nations, tribes and pueblos of New Mexico,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This administration will continue to prioritize meaningful government-to-government relations and the effective and equitable delivery of resources to tribal communities.”

Monette is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Prior to joining the state, Monette was the New Mexico Legal Aid Native American Program Director. The Native American Program serves indigent clients living on or near the Pueblos and provides legal services, mostly in tribal courts, in many areas of law including jurisdictional issues, violations of due process, custody, divorce, child support, defending against debt collections, probate matters, tribal criminal defense, Indian Child Welfare Act, tribal housing matters, tribal employment matters, and representing respondent parents in Child in Need of Care matters.

Click here to read the full press release.

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