Cynthia Chavez Lamar, a University of New Mexico alumna and director of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI),will be the guest speaker at the inaugural Alfonso Ortiz Lecture on Thursday and Friday, April 28 and 29. 

An enrolled member of San Felipe Pueblo, with Hopi, Tewa and Navajo ancestry, Chavez Lamar earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. She was named the third director of the NMAI in January of this year. She is the first Native woman to direct a Smithsonian Museum. A distinguished public scholar and leader with a long career in collaborative work with Native communities, Chavez Lamar was involved with the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies at its founding. Her visit celebrates Ortiz’s legacy and the importance of the collaborative work that the center promotes and funds. 

 Community Meet and Greet 

Thursday, April 28, 2-3:30 p.m., Clark Field Archive Library, Department of Anthropology Room 171 

Anyone interested in talking with Chavez Lamar can sign up for a 5-10 minute slot here.

Anyone who needs a UNM parking permit (good for the day), can contact the department here and it will be ready upon arrival.

The Inaugural Annual Alfonso Ortiz Lecture 

Looking Back and Moving Forward at the National Museum of the American Indian   

April 28, 7:30 p.m., Department of Anthropology Lecture Hall 163 


Friday, April 29, 4-6 p.m., Hibben Center Atrium 

Events are free and open to the public. 

Chavez Lamar’s visit to UNM is hosted in partnership with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Anthropology Department, Museum Studies Program, American Studies Department, Native American Studies Department, Indigenous Nations Library Program, Institute for American Indian Research, El Centro de la Raza, and Center for the Southwest. 

The Alfonso Ortiz Center strives “to create enduring partnerships through collaborations that address community-driven priorities in public-facing anthropology and humanities programs.” The Center achieves its mission by creating and supporting opportunities for diverse, collaborative, community-inspired cultural initiatives and activities in the humanities and public anthropology. 

Related article