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More November Talks Scheduled for Indigenous People’s Month

November 10, 2020

photo Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez

Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents four more virtual talks for Indigenous People’s Month in November, with presentations on Nov. 12, 17, 18, and 19.

The Zoom link for all the talks in the series titled, “Indigenous Voices – Counter Narratives” is https://nmhu.zoom.us/j/5054262053

Nov. 12 from 12 – 1 p.m. “Ak’u, Beloved,” presented by C. Maurus Chino from the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. Chino, who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Highlands University, divides his time between being an artist, activist and writer. His work protesting conquistador monuments in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas became part of the 2008 PBS documentary, “The Last Conquistador.”

Nov. 17 from 12 – 1 p.m. “Challenging Colonial Legacies in New Mexico: The Sins of Our Fathers,” presented by Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez. She is a professor at Arizona State University where she teaches courses on Chicana/0 and Indigenous literature. Fonseca-Chávez is the co-editor of the 2020 book, Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland, published by the University of New Mexico Press, and wrote the 2020 book, Colonial Legacies in Chicano/a Literature and Culture: Looking Through the Kaleidoscope, published by the University of Arizona Press.

Nov. 18 from 12 – 1 p.m. “Developing Resonance With the Sky Spirits of the Cosmos, presented by Greg Cajete, a Tewa Indian from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico. He is a professor at the University of New Mexico in the university’s College of Education division of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. Cajete has authored five books, including The Spirit of the Game: A Wellspring for Indigenous Renewal and Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model. He is also a ceramic, pastel and metal artist.

Nov. 19 from 4 – 6 p.m. “Food Sovereignty,” with Highlands University languages and culture professor Eric Romero. Romero will lead a panel of experts who will look at healthy nutrition and agricultural practices. Romero is also a faculty member in the Native American/Hispano Cultural Studies program at Highlands and is an active member of the Highlands University President’s Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“This “Food Sovereignty” forum will address Indigenous food behaviors and distribution practices as a potential response to COVID 19 restrictions,” Romero said. “Here in New Mexico, even though we’re an agricultural state, most of our food consumption comes from out of state sources. The forum aims to explore strategies that communities can use to invest in local food production.”

The Highlands University President’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is sponsoring the “Indigenous Voices – Counter Narratives” talks along with the university’s Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations (CESDP).

“The goal of the “Indigenous Voices – Counter Narratives” series is to raise awareness about the diversity of American Indian people and their political challenges,” said Rebecca Maldonado Moore, a Highlands social work professor and vice chair of the President’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Foremost, we’ve been able to survive despite colonization and attempts at social genocide. The counter narratives tell our stories.”

Moore is a member of the Northern Arapaho nation.