The University of New Mexico will officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day for the first time in school history on Monday, Oct. 8 in an effort to recognize the resilience of Native Americans.

Starting in 2015, the City of Albuquerque voted to recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day. The same year, Associated Students of the University of New Mexico urged UNM administration to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance and Resilience Day.

Last March, the UNM Board of Regents followed suit recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in an effort to bring an awareness of the ongoing struggles of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples' Day was adopted in part to recognize the Native American members of the Lobo community and their struggles.

It also recognizes that the University’s campuses are on the ancestral land of Indigenous Peoples and honor all that Indigenous Peoples bring to the University through their culture, language, arts, knowledge and values.

New Mexico has one of the highest Native American populations in the United States. In 2017, The University of New Mexico reports that Native Americans make up five percent of the student population. Native Americans make up more than 10 percent of New Mexico’s population spanning over 22 tribal communities, 19 pueblos, and three tribes over five different reservations.

Various celebrations will be held Monday, Oct. 8 including:

  • Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color hosts Indigenous Peoples’ Day Read-In on from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building Atrium. The PNMGC is encouraging people to let their voices be heard by bringing a reading to share.
  • The Red Nation, a UNM student organization, hosts an Indigenous Peoples’ Day March and Rally starting at 5:30 p.m. As a celebration of continued Indigenous resistance and victories, The Red Nation invites people to march from the intersection of First Street Southwest and Central Avenue Northwest to Civic Center Plaza to rally with speakers.

For more information regarding resources and organizations for Native Americans, go to Native Clubs and American Indian Student Services.