3 Term Governor Ohkay Owingeh; Former President, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); Former Chairman All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC), Lifetime Councilman, Ohkay Owingeh
Joe Garcia was born and raised in Ohkay Owingeh and continues to serve his community in traditional, educational, tribal government, and economic development efforts. Joe and his wife Oneva have three children; Melissa, Nathan, and MorningStar, four granddaughters, Kaelynn Garcia, I-Rey Garcia, Marcela Garcia and Imperia Bark and two grandsons, Emiliano Garcia and Lake-Van Garcia.
Actively involved in NCAI since 1995, Joe Garcia served two, two-year terms as the 1st Vice President of NCAI prior to being elected President in November of 2005 and re-elected in 2007, thereby serving 2 terms as President. NCAI is the largest national Indian organization representing over 250 member Tribal Nations from throughout the United States. Joe completed his 3rd term (Jan 2005- Dec 2006) as Governor of Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), located in northern New Mexico. After his term as Governor he was elected as Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC), the organization which was formed in 1598 and serves the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. He served as Chairman for 4 years (2007-2010). His most recent effort in 2012 for Ohkay Owingeh is the Self Governance Initiative whereby the tribe runs all of its BIA Programs under Self Determination. In 2009 he became Head Councilman by tradition and will serve a Lifetime in that capacity. He continues to be involved in Tribal efforts at the National & state levels. He is a member of the Tribal Leaders Task Force served as Cochairman for 3 years for FCC and a Cochairman of the Tribal Technical Advisory Committee for SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). He has served as the NCAI representative for Ohkay Owingeh since 1995.
He is an electrical engineer by profession, with an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of New Mexico. In June 2003, Joe retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 25 years of service, at which time he started his own firm, MistyLake Consulting Services. He has taught numerous courses in computers, electronics, lasers, and math at the Northern New Mexico College from 1979 to1983. His professional training also includes Black Belt Certification for the renowned Six Sigma Quality Improvement process.
Joe has been recognized for his service to his tribe as well as to the State of New Mexico and the nation.
• 1995 - New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award
• 1998 - Luminaries Award from the New Mexico Community Foundation.
• 2006 - Jay Silverheels Achievement Award the highest honor given by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
• 2007 - Ely S Parker Award the highest honor given by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
• 2007 - Mary G. Ross Accomplishment Award the highest award given by Council of Energy Resource Tribes
• 2008 - John Kieffer Sovereignty Award the most prestigious award given by the National Indian Gaming Association
• 2009 - Governor Richardson proclaimed October 15, 2009 as President Joe Garcia Day in the State of New Mexico, and was awarded the NM State flag which was flown over the State Capitol on October 9, 2009.
• 2013 - Renamed as New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award
An Historical event in New Mexico, on January 1, 2007 Joe swore-in Governor Richardson as Governor of New Mexico.