Top Native American Stories of 2011 at the University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico lists its top Native American stories of 2011.
Te Ata and Clyde Fisher prepare to leave for Peru expedition.

Christine Zuni Cruz

In 2010, UNM joined the Newberry Library Consortium in American Indian Studies. Since then, Cathleen Cahill, assistant professor of history, and Jennifer Nez Denetdale, associate professor of American studies, have been collaborating with other UNM faculty members to build UNM participation in the larger consortium community. In joining, UNM has made a three-year commitment to the consortium.

Working with Navajo Tech, UNM Information Technologies will be extending high-speed networking to Zuni, building on technology used in the” Internet to the Hogan” project. The Zuni Pueblo Council recently gave permission to UNM to improve networking connectivity at the UNM-Gallup Zuni facility.

Law Professor Christine Zuni Cruz received the 2010 Pincus Award, the most prestigious honor for a clinical law professor, at the 2011 annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in early January. A member of the Isleta Pueblo, Zuni Cruz is founder and former director of the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law’s Southwest Indian Law Clinic and serves as editor-in-chief of the Tribal Law Journal, the only online academic journal that focuses on indigenous tribal laws.

This photoprint of an illustration of the Battle of Wolf Mountain appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on May 5, 1877.

Paul Platero

Paul Platero, Edge of the Water Clan, grew up in Canoncito, now Tohajiiliee, about 30 miles west of Albuquerque. Education took him out of his community and brought him back again to teach Navajo. Platero, assistant professor in the UNM linguistics department, was born in the Navajo way.

Associate Professor of American Studies Jennifer Nez Denetdale has been appointed to the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, a position that requires an “extensive background in education,” according to the Commission.

Denetdale grew up in Tohatchi, New Mexico, a Navajo community 25 miles north of Gallup. She and her three sisters and one brother never missed school, she said, because her father insisted they become educated. That drive to education wasn’t lost on Denetdale. She came to UNM where she studied English for her bachelor’s degree.