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NMSU to celebrate American Indian Week

Science, comedy, craftsmanship and competition will be part of the celebrations taking place during American Indian Week at New Mexico State University from April 9 - 14.


Three dancers move in a line while two musicians stand behind them playing percussive instruments - all are in traditional clothing.
Soaring Eagle Dance Group of Zuni Pueblo performing at American Indian Week in 2011. (photo by Christina Chavez Kelley)

The events will begin at 10:30 a.m. April 9 with an opening ceremony and blessing by Kim Nih, a tribal member of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, N.M., and father of an NMSU student. This will be followed by a parade of nations where students, some of whom will be traditionally dressed, and others will walk up the International Mall to the rotunda of Corbett Center.

"This is how we will kick off American Indian Week and we encourage students, staff and faculty to come join us, celebrate the events, ask questions, learn about American Indian cultures and get involved," said Justin McHorse, director of American Indian Program at NMSU.

Other events that will take place include a performance by the Zuni Bear Dance Group April 10, performances by comedians Pax Harvey April 10 and Adrianne Chalepah April 12, a flute and drum performance by Randy Granger April 11, a discussion with Robert Whitman, the first Navajo to receive a doctoral engineering degree, April 12 and the Miss Native NMSU Pageant April 13.

The April 9 through 13 events are coordinated by NMSU students involved in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Native American Business Student Association and the United Native American Organization and are sponsored by the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.

"Many of our students have a demanding course load but still take the time to help coordinate or attend the events," McHorse said. "The whole idea is to promote not just a sense of community within the American Indian student body, but a sense of community for everyone."

The finale events will take place Saturday, April 14, outside the University Museum, Kent Hall. These events are sponsored by the University Museum and American Indian Program and will include an arts and crafts expo, drum making and carving demonstration, dancers and an Indian taco sale.

For a full listing of events contact the American Indian Program at 575-646-4207 or amerind@nmsu.edu or visit http://www.nmsu.edu/museum/american-indian-week-201.html.