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NMSU celebrates American Indian Week

New Mexico State University's American Indian Program, in collaboration with various organizations, will host a variety of events to celebrate American Indian Week, April 5-10.


Coordinating student organizations for the events are the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the Native American Business Student Association (NABSA) and the United Native American Organization (UNAO). The week's events are primarily sponsored by the Associated Students of NMSU and co-sponsored by the American Indian Program, the Division of Student Success (DSS), the NMSU Museum, NMSU's College of Business, Auxiliary Facilities and the Center for the Arts.

"All of these events highlight the richness and diversity of American Indian culture that we hope will give the university and outside community an opportunity to learn about our heritage," said Justin McHorse, director of NMSU's American Indian Program.

The week will begin with an opening ceremony and blessing by Imogene Goodshot-Arquero, an accomplished Lakota elder and story teller, at 11 a.m. Monday, April 5, at the east entrance of Hadley Hall. The ceremony will include statements by various dignitaries and student leaders from the NMSU community who represent the Pueblos, Tribes and Nations of New Mexico, as well as those from across the United States.

The Parade of Nations event will take place at 11:30 a.m. April 5, on NMSU's International Mall, followed by the Native American Giveaway at noon and the Miss Native American NMSU Pageant reception at 6 p.m. at Gerald Thomas Hall.

An art demonstration and lecture by Dominic Arquero, a renowned painter from Cochiti Pueblo, and Goodshot-Arquero will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium. James Junes, winner of the first-ever Native American Standup Comedian Contest, will host a comedy show at 8 p.m in the Corbett Center Auditorium.

Robert Mirabal, a two-time Grammy Award winner and world-renowned Native American flute musician will host a performance at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at the Corbett Center Auditorium. Mirabal won the Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Native American Album of the Year for "Sacred Ground," and again in 2008 for his album "Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants."

The annual Miss Native American NMSU Pageant will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, April 9, at the Corbett Center Auditorium. Pageants are held throughout Indian Country to help transmit culture and traditions to young women, and in turn to the greater community.

The week will close out with drum-making and Katsina Doll carving and Santa Clara Pueblo pottery demonstrations, Jemez Pueblo dance performances and a Native American Arts and Crafts Expo, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 10, in the south courtyard of the Kent Hall University Museum.

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

Following is a complete schedule of the week's events.

- Opening Ceremony and Blessing, 11 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 5, Hadley Hall east entrance
- Parade of Nations, 11:30 to noon Monday, April 5, International Mall
- Native American Giveaway, noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 5, International Mall
- Miss Native American NMSU Pageant reception, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 5, Gerald Thomas Hall
- Art demonstration and lecture, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, Corbett Center Auditorium
- James Junes comedy show, 8 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 6, Corbett Center Auditorium
- Indian taco demonstration and giveaway, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, Garcia Annex
- Storytelling and motivational speaker, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, Corbett Center Auditorium
- Mural artist reception, 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 8, Corbett Center Colfax Room
- Robert Mirabal performance, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 8, Corbett Center Auditorium
- The Outlaws Country Western dance, 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, April 8, Corbett Center Ballrooms
- Native American Arts and Crafts Expo, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 9, Corbett Center first floor
- Miss Native American NMSU Pageant, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 9, Corbett Center Auditorium
- Cochiti Pueblo drum-making demonstration, Hopi Katsina Doll carving demonstrations, Jemez - Pueblo dance performances, Santa Clara Pueblo pottery-making demonstrations, Native American Arts and Crafts Expo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Kent Hall University Museum