Trapdoor Projects acknowledges that it sits on the ancestral, unceded land of Pueblo tribes, specifically of the Tiwa People, who have stewarded this land from time immemorial. The land the gallery occupies was obtained through a series of violent usurpings; acts of starvation, genocide, slavery, biological warfare and forced removal instigated at first by Spanish colonists, and later perpetuated by American settlers. Trapdoor acknowledges the devastating loss of life and land during the Tiguex War and in the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and honors with gratitude the land itself and the Tiwa People.
Trapdoor affirms its responsibility as an arts entity to respond to this history of violence and erasure by committing to conscious stewardship, and a simultaneous learning and unraveling of the history of the land it occupies. Knowing the story of this place does not change the past, nor does it equate to an intimate understanding of the unique trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples. Deconstructing the past is a generative and evolving process. Continuing to practice a respectful awareness of the past empowers us in our exhibitions and our outreach as we seek ways to continue our work as an incubator for contemporary art in New Mexico.