Educator. Historian. Ambassador.
Joe Simon Sando of Jemez Pueblo, who reached across the world to tell the story of Pueblo Indians, died this week at age 88.
He served in the Navy during World War II, came home to earn an education degree from Eastern New Mexico University, taught at the Albuquerque Indian School, attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and taught Pueblo history at the University of New Mexico and ethnohistory at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
Sando’s dedication to educating people about Pueblo culture and life led him in 1986 to create the Institute for Pueblo Indian Studies at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, from which he retired in 2003.
His love of people and sharing Native history took him to Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand and Spain. Locally, Sando served on boards including the Chamiza Foundation, National Hispanic Cultural Center, National Indian Education Committee, State Judicial Council and the state Council of American Indians.
A nationally recognized author, Sando won several awards for his history books, including the Excellence in the Humanities Award, Lifetime Achievement Award of Indian Librarians and Indian History Teachers and the Eugene Crawford Memorial Peace Pipe Award.
Joe Sando was instrumental in preserving the story of his people. He will be missed, but his work will continue to bring pride to Pueblo culture as it continues to inform the world.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.