NMSU’s annual American Indian Week celebrates culture, tradition

March 31, 2014 by Jocelyn N. Apodaca, NMSU News Center

American Indian Week list of events. (Courtesy Photo)

American Indian Week list of events. (Courtesy Photo)

A celebration centered on a culture rooted in tradition, the New Mexico State University American Indian Program, along with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Native American Business Student Association, and the United Native American Organization present a week of festive events for April 7-12.

“It’s an opportunity for our American Indian student body to educate the NMSU community that American Indians are on campus, that they’re a thriving group, that they add to the diversity in the classroom and that their cultures, communities and traditions are thriving today,” said Justin McHorse, director of the NMSU American Indian Program.

The events feature a parade, dance, comedy, native food, a pageant and arts and crafts. All events are open to the NMSU community.

“A lot of what’s in the media, the stereotypes that are out there are how people perceive American Indians,” McHorse said. “These offerings are to dispel any stereotypes and to demonstrate the traditions, culture, the foods that are still prevalent today.”

Kicking off the week is the opening ceremony and blessing by Mary Harney, 10:30-11 a.m. Monday, April 7, outside the east area of Hadley Hall. Following will be the Parade of Nations to Corbett Center Student Union. There, a Native American giveaway will take place near the CCSU Rotunda. From 6-8 p.m. the Miss Native American NMSU contestants will have a meet and greet reception at the Stan Fulton Center.

A dance group from the Zuni Pueblo provides entertainment from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, for an Evening of American Indian Tradition at the CCSU outdoor stage.

Watch how the delicious Indian tacos are made during a demonstration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at the American Indian Student Center, behind CCSU. Later that evening, two well-known comedians of the American Indian community, James and Ernie, will do a “Laugh Your Frybread Off” Native comedy show in the CCSU Auditorium from 7-9 p.m.

DJ Kyle Tom Dance will provide entertainment in the CCSU Ballrooms from 8-11 p.m. Thursday, April 10.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. a Native American Arts and Crafts Expo will take place on the first floor of CCSU Friday, April 11. The event will last until 3 p.m. Following will be the Miss Native American NMSU Pageant at the CCSU Auditorium from 6-9 p.m.

“The pageant is different from the typical beauty pageant,” McHorse said. “It is more focused on one’s knowledge of their culture, their cultural attire and whether they can demonstrate an activity within their culture.”

The finale will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kent Hall University Museum Saturday, April 12. There will be a Native American Arts and Crafts Expo featuring wares from throughout the state and will feature Randy Granger, a flute and drum performer. Indian tacos and fry bread will be for sale for those who did not attend the demonstration.

The events are brought in part by the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.

For more information visit http://aip.nmsu.edu/current-students/american-indian-week.

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