Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

MIAC Welcomes New Deputy Director, Matthew Martinez, Ph.D.

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

July 03, 2019


(Santa Fe, New Mexico) – The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is proud to introduce Dr. Matthew Martinez (Ohkay Owingeh) as the museum’s newest employee and Deputy Director. Dr. Martinez is a steward of education and Native leadership, bringing his expertise and in history and cultural advocacy to MIAC.

“The Department of Cultural Affairs is pleased to welcome Dr. Martinez,” states Cabinet Secretary, Debra Garcia y Griego. “As he steps into his roll MIAC, he brings a background that prioritizes the rich and diverse cultural artistries of New Mexico. We are proud to have him join an institution that houses important pieces of our state’s past, present, and future.”  

Dr. Martinez holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in American Studies and American Indian Studies. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Martinez served as First Lieutenant Governor of Ohkay Owingeh where he worked to develop initiatives across local, state, and federal governments. During his tenure, he developed relationships with tribal leaders across the state of New Mexico, ensuring a cohesive working platform for new and continued community partnerships. His appointment as Lieutenant Governor succeeds his time as the Director of the Northern Pueblos Institute of Northern New Mexico College, where he continued researching and publishing scholarly works about Native arts and culture.

“I’m excited to join the MIAC team as Deputy Director," Dr. Martinez said of his new position. “This is an opportune time to cultivate and advance the programming and exhibits that showcase the diversity of Southwest Native cultures and peoples.”

MIAC’s new Deputy Director comes to his position with the belief that New Mexico could serve as a model of cultural and historic preservation within the US. The rich cultures throughout the state present unique opportunities for the museum, where those dedicated to cultural sustainability may continue to exhibit the works of these vibrant communities.

Della Warrior, MIAC’s executive director, speaks to Dr. Martinez’ role with the museum. “The cultural knowledge and academic background that Dr. Martinez brings to MIAC will significantly enhance MIAC’s educational programs as well as exhibition content.  As an engaged community member, Dr. Martinez brings a unique cultural interpretation to MIAC’s exhibitions. For the first time since its inception MIAC will have a community based academic scholar in a leadership position at a cultural institution charged with educating the public about the unique cultures, histories, arts and languages of the indigenous peoples of the Southwest.  Dr. Martinez is highly cognizant of the role languages play in cultural survival. His Grandmother, Esther Martinez dedicated her lifework as an educator and linguist to help tribes and Pueblos with their language survival issues.  Dr. Martinez is expected to play a key role in navigating a pathway for MIAC in the on-going need for language survival and sustainability.”

With a long legacy and personal philosophy focused on continuing cultural practices, the Department of Cultural Affairs is thrilled to welcome Dr. Martinez to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s team.

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