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Native American students to discuss cultural exchange to Russia

Three New Mexico State University Native American students will present "A Cultural Exchange Visit to Khanty Indigenous People of Siberia," at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the Corbett Center Otero Room.

From left, New Mexico State University students Matt Shunkamolah, Sylvia Dempsey, American Indian Program Director Don Pepion, student Tiffany Lovato and English professor Andrew Wiget stand in front of St. Basil's Cathedral on their cultural exchange vis

The students, Sylvia Dempsey, Tiffany Lovato and Matt Shunkamolah, will discuss their cultural exchange visit to the Khanty-Mansiysk region in Siberia, Russia, and present a slide show.

The students and Don Pepion, director of the university's American Indian Program (AIP), met with Russian government officials and participated in a native education conference in May. They also traveled to remote settlements to visit with native Khanty reindeer herders, hunters, fisherman and other local peoples on the issues of economic development, acculturation and loss of land and heritage.

Tat'yana Gogleva, a representative to the Native Assembly of the Duma of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug in Siberia, visited southern New Mexico in 2003. The NMSU students' trip to Russia was made possible by a proposal from Andrew Wiget, a professor of English at NMSU, and Olga Balalaeva, who provided language interpretation.

For more information, contact AIP at (505) 646-4207.