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NMSU’s American Indian Week begins April 8

The annual New Mexico State University American Indian Week will take place April 8-13.


Jemez Dance group
American Indian Week at New Mexico State University will feature a variety of events including an indigenous foods presentation, an arts and crafts fair, an Indian taco luncheon and the Miss Native American NMSU pageant. (NMSU photo by Michael Ray)

All of the events are student planned, organized and led. Michael Ray, director of the American Indian Program, hopes the week of activities will educate and inform the community more about the Native American culture.

“The goal of American Indian Week is to have our students flip the role of instructor on our campus. Many of our Native American students are from their tribal communities and look to share the many wonderful things their community adds to our current society,” Ray said. “We hope that students, faculty and staff can get an actual understanding of culture and offerings that break the mental mold that has been created by popular culture.”

Kicking off the week Monday, April 8, is the opening ceremony from 9-10 a.m. outside Hadley Hall. The event will start off with a prayer followed by a guest speaker. Following that will be a meet and greet with contestants from the 2019 Miss Native American NMSU. The meet and greet will take place from 6-9 p.m. in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium and will include the public speaking portion of the Miss Native American NMSU Pageant.

On Tuesday, April 9, from 12-2 p.m. in the American Indian Student Center, community members will be given the chance to learn the process and make frybread during a workshop. That evening in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium from 6-9 p.m., Andi Murphy, the founder of a podcast called “Toasted Sister,” will give a talk and presentation about indigenous food.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, an Indian taco luncheon will be held in the American Indian Student Center. Students in the American Indian Program organizations will provide a popular Native American dish known as an “Indian Taco” free to NMSU students, faculty and staff.

A movie night that will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Senate chambers on the third floor of the Corbett Center Student Union. “Edge of America” will be screened, which is based on a true story: a black educator takes a job teaching high-school English at the Three Nations Reservation and is coaxed into coaching the girls’ basketball team.

Events Thursday, April 11, will include a missing and murdered indigenous women art demo from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grassy area between Young Hall and Branson Library. Three Native American artists will get to paint their perspectives on the theme “Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women” on canvases and will give the community a chance to ask the artist about their artwork and learn more about the cause.

That will be followed by a panel on indigenous professionals from 6-9 p.m. in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium. This event hopes to inspire indigenous students at NMSU to continue on their path toward a college degree and aims to highlight indigenous achievements and create a dialogue about balancing indigenous teachings with professionalism.

Friday, April 12, will include an arts and crafts fair from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first floor of the Corbett Center Student Union, followed by the Miss Native American NMSU pageant from 6-9 p.m. in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium. The winner will serve as the ambassador for the American Indian Program and the Native American Organizations.

American Indian Week will conclude Saturday, April 13, with an arts and crafts fair and Indian taco sale at the University Museum located in Kent Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All events are free and open to the NMSU community. For more information contact the American Indian Program at 575-646-4207.