New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs celebrates Native American Heritage Month

November 01, 2023

Ash Espinoza

Santa Fe, NM — November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples across the United States. In New Mexico the month recognizes the importance of the 25 Native nations within the state — including the 19 Pueblos, three Apache tribes, Ute and Navajo nations. This month offers an opportunity for people of all backgrounds in New Mexico to learn about the unique contributions that Native people have made to our communities and the nation. 

 “We celebrate the invaluable and lasting contributions of Indigenous Peoples in New Mexico,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) Cabinet Secretary. “The New Mexico State Library works directly alongside Native American communities throughout the state to facilitate their growth by expanding broadband access, ensuring that libraries in these areas provide essential services that might not otherwise be available. The Office of Archaeological Studies works diligently to preserve Native American histories and cultures through respectful dialogues with our Tribal partners to safeguard their sacred lands. And our state museums collaborate with Tribal partners to illustrate the impact of Native culture on our nation’s heritage and future.”

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs amplifies Native voices year-round through exhibitions, education, and community engagement throughout the state — in our museums, like the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and New Mexico History Museum; through interpretation at our state historic sites like Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site and Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites; and by the collaborative efforts of the Office of Archaeological Studies, Historic Preservation Division and the New Mexico State Library.

“This month is a time to celebrate the presence of Native American people and the impact of their powerful histories,” said Polly Nordstrand (Hopi), Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Director. “The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is proud that we play a part in sharing this heritage with our public. As Native American Heritage Month, November is a time many institutions, like this museum, focus on experiences that foster learning about the first inhabitants of what is now the United States.” 

Throughout the month of November, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs invites you to engage in and celebrate Native American Culture by visiting our Museums and Historic Sites. 

  • Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features exhibitions of traditional and contemporary Native American Art. These exhibitions are Here, Now and Always, Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles, and Down Home: Anthony Lovato.   
  • Museum of International Folk Art explores the art of the parka in Ghhúunayúkata / To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka. 
  • Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site view permanent exhibit Bosque Redondo: A Place of Suffering…A Place of Survival. 
  • New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary features Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti) in its inaugural exhibition Shadow and Light.  
  • Learn about Miguel Trujillo and the Pursuit of Native Voting Rights atNew Mexico History Museum. 

 The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is committed to encouraging the achievements and legacy of Native American communities in the state. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Native American Heritage Month and gaining a deeper understanding of the rich cultural tapestry that is integral to New Mexico’s identity. 

 About New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs  

Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, NMDCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico. 

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