SANTA FE ― Santa Fe Community College will celebrate the third annual Native American Week March 27 through March 31.
SFCC’s Native American Student Outreach Coordinator Valerie Grimley, Ph.D. said, “We’ve got an exciting program this year that celebrates our increased enrollment of Native American students.” There are 462 Native American students enrolled at the college in Academic Year 2016-2017. The current number represents a 34.4 percent increase since Academic Year 2013-14, when there were 344 Native American students attending SFCC.
Festivities begin Monday, March 27 with an opening ceremony and traditional dances by groups from Cochiti and Pojoaque pueblos from 10 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center, 6401 Richards Ave. The college will present the following guest speakers: 1 p.m. SFCC student Charles Van Pelt (Cochiti/Umatilla Confederate Tribe) will share his presentation on the importance of language and the effects of language loss in tribal communities as well as efforts of tribes to save their languages and cultures; 1:30 p.m. SFCC student Cassandra Perez (Tarahumara (Rarímuri)/Turtle Mountain Cree) will give a presentation on acts of colonization and what we can do to decolonize;2 p.m. Benjamin Shendo, Jr. (Cochiti/Jemez) will share experiences as the Pueblo camp leader at Standing Rock. All of Monday’s activities are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, March 28 is Native American Junior and Senior Day. Students from Bernalillo and Española high schools will tour SFCC and participate in information sessions from 10 a.m. to noon. Tribal leaders from Cochiti, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo and Tesuque pueblos will celebrate Native American scholarship recipients at an invitation-only luncheon sponsored by Santa Fe Community College Foundation.
The public is invited to a Native American Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in the main campus hallway.
The week’s activities are sponsored by the SFCC Native American Club, Student Government Association, President’s Diversity Advisory Committee and Santa Fe Community College Foundation.