Correspondent Antonia Gonzales interviews tribal leaders and the Secretary of Indian Affairs about the surge of COVID-19 cases across New Mexico. The pandemic has hit Indigenous communities especially hard, and more recently the situation has become especially challenging for Acoma Pueblo, where Indian Health Services has closed a key facility. The group talks about upholding sovereignty while also working to keep citizens safe. 

Native Americans have always had a deep and vibrant connection to the land, and that includes the sustainability of our food sources. There is a recent movement to return to these Indigenous food systems and best practices for individual health benefits and the overall wellness of tribal communities and Mother Earth. Correspondent Antonia Gonzales visits Jemez Pueblo to meet with Tina Archuleta, a Native business owner who is focused on helping us all decolonize our diets.  

This week, we also celebrate the country’s first Native American Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She went to school here in New Mexico at the Institute of American Indian Arts as well as UNM. Earlier this month, she was appointed to a rare third term as Poet Laureate, starting in September of 2021. She held a discussion and reading from her new book of poetry “An American Sunrise” at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe in the fall of 2019. Harjo reads selections from that book, including the works “For Those Who Would Govern” and “Indian School Night Song Blues.” 

Due to NM PBS’ Winter Pledge Drive that starts Friday night, NMiF will only broadcast on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. (KNME HD) and Sunday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. on NMPBS 9.1 (world)

In Focus Interviews

New Mexico Tribal Leaders Battle COVID Surges 

Antonia Gonzales 

Lynn Trujillo, New Mexico Indian Affairs Secretary  
Brian Vallo, Acoma Pueblo Governor     
Gabe Aguilar, Mescalero Apache Tribal President 

Decolonizing Our Diets: Plant-Based Wellness & ItalityNM 

Antonia Gonzales 

Tina Archuleta, founder, ItalityNM 

Contradictions of New Mexico’s Colonial Past 

Russell Contreras 

Vanessa Fonseca Chávez, assistant professor of Hispanic and Indigenous studies, Arizona State University   

National Poet Laureate Joy Harjo Poetry Readings
For Those Who Would Govern 
The Fight 
Indian School Night Song Blues 
First Morning (For Shan) 
Recording at IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (October 2019)    

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the “news of the moment.”

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you.

Get updates, watch and follow New Mexico PBS on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and more.