Joe D. Lucero has a strong grip for a man of 81. Over the past 30 years, his calloused hands have built a six-room home-and sometime gathering place for the Isleta tribe-one room at a time, with no financial assistance from a bank.

Mr. Lucero and his wife, Lupita, are leaders of the pueblo of Isleta, a 200,000-acre reservation just 15 miles south of downtown Albuquerque, offering counseling to the 7,000 tribe members on issues ranging from baptism to marriage.

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