Last week, Caballeros de Vargas, the organization that has staged the pageant during the annual Santa Fe Fiesta for more than 100 years, confirmed that it would discontinue staging the event to “allow for the healing of our brothers and sisters and lead to further unification of all cultures.”
The September event has been met by increasingly intense protests led by Native American groups who say the Entrada is a whitewashed celebration of the violent conquest of northern New Mexico. Santa Fe police arrested eight demonstrators last year, though charges were later dropped.
Eli Bransford started the petition on change.org. As of Monday afternoon, 795 people signed the petition intended to “send the message to the city of Santa Fe that they made the wrong choice.”
City government leaders — along with the Caballeros, the Fiesta Council, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and area pueblos — were involved in negotiations in an effort to resolve the conflict over Entrada.
The petition states, “This tradition generally has been accepted, celebrated and even loved by the overwhelming majority of locals including the various indigenous peoples that have been here for generations. If this tradition can be removed because of the loud voice of a few, no tradition or past heroes are any longer safe.”