505 Musicians
by Akilah Martinez, Dawn of Nations Today

In the midst of the Southwest, resides a variety of independent artists who produce their own music, compose their own beats, and write their own lyrics. A majority of these musicians and their beats are native to New Mexico and their music can be found on Skull Control Records, an independent record company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and established in 2007.

Juan Rey Ashke, who grew up near the Rio Grande river, freelances across the different types of arts, and believes any form of art can interact with each other, either it be traditional art or digital art. Juan Rey wants to spend more time sending the message of a positive way of living through his music.

Mike3sixty, who was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, is a farmer/community farmer, muralist/public artist, and musician. Mike3sixty likes to communicate serious issues such as coal mining, and invasive species removal through his art, this supports his idea that culture cannot exist without subsistence. Mike3sixty also covers issues about alcoholism in his art, alongside of projecting his music to promote health and happiness.



Traveling to North and South American from the Navajo Nation, Dawn of Nations Today student reporter, Nikki Tulley shares her travel memories and images from her travels to points across the continents.

The Smell of Sweet Sagebrush and Wet Dirt
by Nikki Tulley, Dawn of Nations Today

As I write these words, the rain trickles down the outside walls of my apartment. The sound of the rain brings alive the memories I have of various rainstorms. I remember the soft misty rains in Chickaloon, Alaska, where the green forest touched the calmed waters surrounding a glacier. On the island of Oahu, Hawai’i, large rain drops showered from the clouds above the clashing of high waves on the world famous surf mecca, North Shore. The Andean Mountain settlement of Cajamarca, Peru experienced flash floods that made the city appear to have raging rivers running through it. However, no matter how far I travel there is nothing like the rainstorms of the American Southwest, bringing the scent of sagebrush and wet dirt in a harmonious smell that says “home.”

As a child I loved being outdoors. When summertime came, I spent most of my time in the hills and forest behind my home in St. Michaels, Arizona and To-la-kai, New Mexico. Unlike most children on the Navajo reservation summertime also meant vacations. My parents wanted my sisters and I to experience many things in life, experiencing numerous cultures and traditions. My father also wanted us to become more engaged in our natural environment. For that reason, many summer vacations included going to Indigenous Environmental Network conferences held in different parts of North America.

Entering high school, I began to travel on my own. I traveled to many workshops and conferences concerning indigenous youth throughout North America to explore issues of renewable energy and social justice. After high school, I started to participate in various internships that took me miles from home. All the while, no matter how far I went from home, I could hear the words of my mother and father saying, “Don’t you ever think you are better than the ground you walk on. These people you are to meet are children of our Creator just like you are.”

These wise words from my parents helped me a lot when I started to travel internationally and lived in Peru for a year and a half. I went to Peru to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived there to serve the Peruvian people. In Peru I lived in four cities -- Lima, Trujillo, Cajamarca, and Nuevo Chimbote. In these cities, I did what missionaries do; teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I didn't just share a gospel message. I also taught English, built homes, organized community cleanups, and made lifelong friends. Now some might think there is a contradiction in being both Christian and Native American, but I do not. With the teachings of my parents, I got the best of both worlds and have further understood the importance of seeing the similarities in life rather than the differences.

That is the backbone to my travels. I travel to see the beauty of this earth and the ways in which people have adapted to it in various parts of the world. Now as I continue to travel to various parts of the world I will not see first, second, or third world countries, but simply vibrant and unique cultures, traditions, families, environment, and animals.

As I prepare to leave for the Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica this summer to participate in NAPIRE biological research on water quality. I will take the things I have learned and am sure that the rainstorms there will also bring a sweet remembrance. When the summer is over, I will yearn again for those Southwest rainstorms and the scent of the sagebrush and wet dirt in a harmonious smell that says "home.”


Media Tour at the Southern Ute Reservation in Ignacio, Colorado
by Eldon Brown, Dawn of Nation Today

Southern Ute Drum Newspaper and KSUT Public Radio
by Akeemi Martinez, Dawn of Nations Today


Dawn of Nations Today Volumn 5; Issue 1; May 2010, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.

Dawn of Nations Today is a special edition published by the Native American Studies Department, University College, University of New Mexico
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