Honoring Native Tradition and Community Through Academic Excellence

Ongoing Events


NAS Lecture Series
Our mission, courses, and activities stimulate an environment conducive to inspire a critical consciousness among our students.

Our goal is to decolonize education for our students which incorporates Indigenous knowledge and experiential learning opportunities through our collaboration with communities and organizations in the classroom, guest speakers, and other academic and social events.

Past lecture series speakers have included: Wilma Mankiller, Winona LaDuke, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Tania Haerekiterā Wolfgramm and Wikuki Kingi,Dr. Viola Cordova Memorial Symposium, Joanne Shenandoah and Doug George-Kanentiio, Paula Gunn Allen, Pablo H. Padilla, Lawrence A. Shorty, Randy Redroad, Los Comanches in Nuevo Mexico Symposium, Po’pay Commemoration Symposium, and the annual Dr. Viola Cordova Memorial Symposium.

NAS Annual Convocation Ceremony
The first Native American Studies Convocation Ceremony was held in May 2006 at the University of New Mexico honoring graduates receiving the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Native American Studies and recipients of the minor in NAS. Since, NAS has made a commitment to honor its’ graduates prior to and separate from the larger UNM Commencement Ceremony. The NAS Convocation includes a reception and recognition by the Native American Studies faculty, staff, community members, and affiliated UNM faculty and staff, all who have been instrumental in supporting the students and their families.
Native American Studies also awards departmental honors to the NAS graduating majors who have earned a 3.75 GPA or higher on all their Native American Studies course work.

A short keynote address is presented by an invited guest. Previous keynote speakers have included Dennis Banks (Ojibway- Activist); Lynda M. Lovejoy (Diné - New Mexico State Senator);Alvin H. Warren (Santa Clara – Cabinet Secretary, NM Indian Affairs Department); Kara Bobroff (Navajo/Lakota – Native American Community Academy); Aprell Rae Emerson (Diné - NAS/UNM Alumna 2007, Navajo Nation Background Investigations Office); Regis Pecos (Cochiti Pueblo - Chief of Staff, New Mexico State Legislature); Ray Begaye, (Navajo - New Mexico State House of Representatives).

Other acknowledgements are made on behalf of Kiva Club, and the Native American Studies Indigenous Research Group.
The NAS convocation is held annually in May. Please see the UNM Graduation website for convocation information:

Nizhoni Days
Nizhoni Days was first conducted in 1955.  Nizhoni Days is a week of celebration and sharing of American Indian culture with UNM students, staff, faculty, and the general public, held annually late April. For more information contact KIVA Club: https://www.facebook.com/unmkivaclub