SJC students attended a three-day conference featuring art and lectures that focused on sharing art, music culture and storytelling from indigenous cultures from America and Mexico.

Drumming circles are enjoyed by some of the attendees of the 2023 Bi-National Indigenous Expo.

A group of 16 San Juan College Native American students were treated to an incredible multi-cultural event at Western New Mexico University this summer.

Cultural celebration

The 2023 Bi-National Indigenous Expo/Encuentro is a bi-national event focused on Indigenous art, music, culture, storytelling, and the important role of youth. The Expo is hosted by Western New Mexico University in Silver City, and featured artisans/storytellers and academics from both Mexico’s. Hopes of the event are to intersect Indigenous perspectives and culture from both sides of New Mexico’s border.

Students and members from both the Apache and Navajo tribes participated in three days of lectures and activities celebrating and sharing their cultures with each other. SJC students were housed and fed on campus for free and transportation was also provided.

“I experienced friendship, diversity, and accelerated learning, getting to meet the mayor of Silver City and the leadership of the White Mountain Apache Tribe” said student Bradley Smith. Smith went on to add, “The Apache people taught and reminded us of the unheard voices amongst the Native American tribes who are not federally recognized. I now have an even deeper appreciation for my Navajo culture.”

The event will be an opportunity for Navajo students at San Juan College in the future.