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NMSU events seek to inspire tribal students

Educators often seek new ways to inspire their students. The Indian Resource Development Program at New Mexico State University is partnering with several NMSU units to host events they hope will inspire students to get more deeply engaged in their academic careers and make contributions to their professions and their tribal communities.

Shauneen Pete stands in front of a podium.
Shauneen Pete of the Plains Cree Little Pine First Nation will be the first participant in NMSU's Tribal Scholar in Residence program. (Courtesy photo)

The Indian Resource Development Program or IRD, along with the College of Arts and Sciences Stan Fulton Endowed Chair is sponsoring the Tribal Scholar in Residence program which will feature Shauneen Pete, a member of the Plains Cree Little Pine First Nation. Pete will be at NMSU from March 5-9 and will attend a number of public and private events.

Pete is a faculty member at the University of Regina and served as president of First Nations University of Canada, a school that specializes in Indigenous knowledge, cultures, languages and values. She is also an expert in First Nations women's issues, education issues and community inclusion in higher education.

"The Tribal Scholar in Residence program was developed to provide two-way exposure between the NMSU community and for potential faculty targets," said Joe Graham, director of the IRD at NMSU. "It's an IRD objective to expose students to innovative ideas from tribal academics but it's an NMSU 'Building the Vision' goal to strengthen our commitment to diversity of faculty, staff and students. While the NMSU community is receiving Dr. Pete's perspective, Dr. Pete will be learning how the various communities at NMSU interact with each other."

Pete will participate in are a welcoming reception at noon March 5 at the American Indian Student Center. She will also give a public presentation on International Women's Day titled "The Status of First Nations Women" at 6 p.m. March 8 at NMSU's O'Donnell Hall, Room 111.

"Our events over the next few months will create opportunities for students to view how other tribal persons have put their education in action," Graham said. "We are continuing to explore new ways to engage students and the community to make sure that students recognize their potential for growth."