Highlands Celebrates Native American Week

Laguna dancers

Margaret McKinney/Highlands University
Zalin Kiro, left, and Reyes Crespin of the Laguna Corn Dancers perform the traditional buffalo dance Nov. 22 in the Student Union Building during Native American Week at Highlands. Phillip Marmolejo leads the Laguna Corn Dancers of the Laguna Pueblo.

Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University celebrated Native American Week Nov. 15 — 22 with traditional dance performances, a pueblo throw, traditional attire day, and more.

The university’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society, AISES, and the Native American Club sponsored the events.

Alexis Hustito of the Zuni Pueblo is the AISES president. The 20-year-old junior is pursuing her BFA with an emphasis in painting.

“With Native American Week, we wanted to share each and every one of our cultures with the campus and Las Vegas communities,” Hustito said. “This is also our way of preserving and continuing our culture and language.”

One popular highlight of the week was the traditional dance performances Nov. 22. The Laguna Corn Dancers of the Laguna Pueblo and the Torivio Buffalo Dancers of the Acoma Pueblo performed in the Student Union Building atrium.

Fidel Trujillo, dean of students, said students from 22 tribes are represented at Highlands.

The Office of Student Affairs offers academic advising and assistance with financial aid and scholarships to Native American students, as well as help with the university’s admissions process. 

“The university is definitely supportive of Native American students,” Hustito said.