The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) and the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico (NADCNM) today hosted a virtual celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Over 150 people came together to celebrate Native American culture and heritage in New Mexico and discuss the importance of uplifting Native voices in politics.
Viewers heard from New Mexico’s Native American leaders, including Representative Deb Haaland, New Mexico Senator Shannon Pinto, New Mexico Representative Derrick Lente, New Mexico State Senate Candidate Brenda McKenna, County Commission Candidate Leah Ahkee Baczkiewicz, and Biden for President Western Coalitions Director PaaWee Rivera.
Democratic candidates also spoke, including Representative Ben Ray Luján, Candidate for Congress Teresa Leger Fernandez, and New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Shammara Henderson.
The event also included speeches and performances from Native artists, advocacy groups, and voting rights organizations such as Pueblo San de Ildefonso Election Commission Chair Nichole Martinez, SFIS Leadership Institute, Native American Youth Empowerment, and Sage Cornelius.
Speakers emphasized the diversity and value of Native heritage and how Native voices can make a difference in politics.
“Today’s event was a wonderful opportunity to bring together Native Americans from across New Mexico to celebrate our history and culture,” said NADCNM Chair Tweety Suazo. “I was so excited to see so many speakers discuss the importance of uplifting Native voices and getting involved. We know how powerful our voices can be, and we are proud to be using them to make a difference in our state and across the nation.”
“‘We were proud to be a part of this event recognizing the countless contributions that Native communities have made to New Mexico’s culture and heritage,” said DPNM Native Outreach Organizer Kianna Holian. “Today we recommit ourselves to ensuring that Native communities are able to have a direct say in our democracy. In these unprecedented times, it’s critical that we continue to vote, run for office, and make our voices heard while remaining grounded in our culture and traditions.”