This week, New Mexico in Focus, in an encore presentation, celebrates Joy Harjo, a groundbreaking poet and New Mexico treasure. An enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation in Oklahoma, Harjo went to school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and was both a student and faculty member at UNM. 

Joy Harjo

Earlier this year, she made history as the first Native American to be named a national poet laureate. She has written eight books of poetry, including her latest, “An American Sunrise.” Correspondent Megan Kamerick caught up with Harjo at a poetry reading in Santa Fe to talk about why she sees the poet laureate appointment as an opportunity for Native people.  

Teton Saltes, a junior offensive lineman on UNM’s football team, combines community service with athletic and academic achievement. A member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, Saltes works among Native communities struggling with suicide – often at a rate higher than any other racial or ethnic group. Correspondent Antonia Gonzales met up with Saltes at football practice to look at how he tackles advocacy for his community with the same determination he does athletics.  

“¡Las Sandinistas!” is a documentary that chronicles the brave women on the front lines of social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista revolution. NMPBS aired the documentary earlier this year. Correspondent Russell Contreras spoke to filmmaker Jenny Murray about the story. 

NMiF also reprises two favorite “Our Land” segments, as correspondent Laura Paskus takes us to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge for a look behind the scenes at how managers maintain the habitat to support sandhill cranes, geese, and other wildlife. Paskus also takes viewers along as she examines the effort to build a network of backyard wildlife sanctuaries across New Mexico’s urban landscape. The spaces can create a surprisingly serene refuge for animals and people. 

New Mexico in Focus airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14 at 7 a.m., and streaming on the PBS video app.    

Russell Contreras 
Antonia Gonzales 
Megan Kamerick 
Laura Paskus 

Joy Harjo, U.S. poet laureate 
Jenny Murray, filmmaker, “¡Las Sandinistas!” 
Teton Saltes, UNM football player, advocate of suicide prevention in Native communities 

Line Panelists 
No Line panel this week 

Gene Grant    

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.