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IERC Opening and Keynote Speakers

NACA Eagle Drum Group

NACA Eagles Drum group is a student ran group with different youth from 6-12 grade and many tribes and peoples. They will be a part of our opening on Thursday, April 27th.

NACA Eagle Drum Group

Hayes Lewis

Hayes Lewis

Hayes is the Executive Director of the newly created A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center (ACCRC) with the Pueblo of Zuni. His major responsibilities include: re-visioning the higher education opportunities and career learning services for the Zuni community; developing the organizational capacity of the college; and planning for an independent Zuni tribal college with accreditation under the Higher Learning Commission. Presently the ACCRC accredits all courses and training under a cooperative agreement with the University of New Mexico.

Hayes has actively served the Zuni community and other tribal groups throughout his career. He assisted the tribe to create the Zuni Public School District under a deconsolidation statute, served as Special Assistant to the Tribal Council, and as Tribal Administrator and Director of the Office of Planning & Development. He served two separate terms as the Superintendent of Schools for the Zuni Public School District, and assisted the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM to create the Center for Lifelong Education (CLE) and served as the founding Director and Adjunct Professor in the Indigenous Liberal Studies Department. The CLE interacted with and supported Indigenous tribes in the southwest, Mexico and in several southern African countries in areas of policy, tribal leadership, education improvement, distance learning, land acquisition, NGO program development and cultural based economic entrepreneurship from Indigenous perspectives and needs.

Hayes is an enrolled member of the Zuni Tribe from the Corn and Coyote Clans and is active in the community. He is a Vietnam combat Veteran with 16 months of service “in country”. He has authored and co-authored several articles on Indigenous economic development, social/cultural issues and educational reform.

Kiva Club

Kiva Club

UNM Kiva Club was first chartered in 1952. The purpose of KIVA Club is to encourage student and community involvement with Native American issues and events on the University of New Mexico campus and in the surrounding communities.  KIVA Club’s major trademark is the “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. They will be hosting their 62nd annual Nizhoni days powwow this April. Kiva Club has also re-emerged in the past few years as a student activist group that has gained national attention in their work to abolish the racist UNM presidential seal, creating an 11 list of demands, and upholding UNM administration and entities responsible to Indigenous peoples in New Mexico and nationally.  Their work has also been recognized in the #NODAPL movement, Gold King Mine Spill and many other issues impacting Native American communities locally and nationally. They acknowledge their predecessors and honor Larry Casuse’s legacy he left for current and future Kiva club leaders.