Land acknowledgement mural unveiled at University of New Mexico May 5
Land acknowledgement mural unveiled
at University of New Mexico May 5
Indian Country Today
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Indigenous
peoples’ land and territory acknowledgement
was unveiled on May 5 and placed at the heart of
the University of New Mexico campus.
The mural is placed on the main level of
the Student Union Building that acknowledges
the university and their branches campus being
on the traditional homelands of the Pueblo of
Sandia and the pueblo, Navajo and Apache people have deep connections to the land and have
made significant contributions across the state.
“By respectfully honoring our history through
an Indigenous land and territory acknowledgment, we are formally, and gratefully, recognizing Indigenous Peoples as a vital part of our
Lobo DNA,” UNM president Garnett S. Stokes
said. “Our land acknowledgment has become a
foundational part of our identity as Lobos, and
I am proud that today it is becoming—quite
literally—a permanent part of our very infrastructure.”
Other universities have issued land acknowledgments across the country. One is Arizona
State University, which also has a high Native
student population and Native population in the
Stokes spoke on how the student diversity
today does not look how it did when the school
opened in 1892. There were zero Native students in the beginning and almost none for the
next 35 years, according to Stokes.
Then from and since the tenure of President
James Zimmerman from 1927 to 1944, thousands of Native students have attended and
graduated the university.
Nearly 11 percent of New Mexico’s population is represented by 23 federally recognized Native nations, including 19 pueblos, three
Apache nations and the Navajo Nation. It makes
New Mexico the third largest Native population
per capita in the United States.