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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU President Mike Martin honored for work by American Indian groups

Representatives of Indigenous Nations for Community Action presented New Mexico State University President Michael Martin with a gift of appreciation for his help in sponsoring the Native American Pow Wow on the Las Cruces campus in October 2006.

Making the presentation were Matt Runsabove and John Yazzie, co-founders of the group.

"We want to thank you for all your backing and support, all of your ideas and the time you spent making the pow wow successful," Runsabove said as he presented Martin with a handmade bolo tie bearing a thunderbird design.

The tie was made by fifth- and sixth-graders of the Santee Sioux, Runsabove said. Another bolo bearing a north star design was presented to Herb Taylor, senior associate director of athletic operations, for his assistance concerning the event.

"It's important that the university do things like the pow wow because it reminds students that this is everybody's university," Martin said, reiterating one of his favorite themes. "It was great fun, too."

The president thanked the group members attending as he put the bolo on over his conventional tie. Martin discussed the possibility of another pow wow in the fall. He has made outreach to the American Indian community a priority for NMSU and has pushed for the construction of the proposed Native American Cultural Center on NMSU's main campus.

"If we have a Native American studies program, what better way to get students to interact with the community than to have programs such as these?" Martin asked rhetorically.

The Indigenous Nations for Community Action donated a portion of the proceeds from the pow wow to scholarships for American Indian students.

Wednesday's presentation is a prelude to American Indian Week at NMSU, March 26-31. The annual event will begin Monday, March 26, with a pueblo throw from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Corbett Center rotunda entrance. The theme for this event is Traditional Gift Giving.

"Let's make sure we participate in American Indian Week," Martin said, following the presentation. "This is a group that has too often gone unnoticed."

Activities during the week will include presentations by American Indian Science and Engineering Society guest speaker Dan Wildcat on environmental activism on Tuesday, March 27; United Native American Organization guest speaker Fredrick Peso about Apache history on Wednesday, March 28; and the screening of "Raven Tales" on Thursday, March 29. All of these events will be at the Corbett Center beginning at 7 p.m.

The Miss Native NMSU pageant, along with a Native American arts and crafts expo will be held on Friday, March 30. The arts and craft expo will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Corbett Center, and the pageant will begin at 6 p.m. in the Corbett Center auditorium.

The week of activities will conclude on Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. at Corbett Center outdoor stage with a powwow and arts and craft expo sponsored by the United Native American Organization.