Dancers, Balloon Fiesta visitors celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Albuquerque

[anvplayer video=”5195444″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dozens marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Monday.

“It’s a day to celebrate and recognize all of our contributions to our community,” said Mike Canfield, CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.  

The 19 Native American Pueblos of New Mexico came together Monday for a celebration all about their people – one they’ve been fighting for, for generations. 

“Dating back several years there was an effort to really change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, so we are thankful that happened and our state leaders recognized that,” said Canfield. 

“Throughout the day we will also have dances from different groups that we are having here, different Pueblos, different places, so we are excited about having all those different groups here,” said Monique Silva, director of IPCC guest services. 

The Kaltonaka dance group was up first Monday. The Aztec group performed for dozens of visitors, many who were in town for Balloon Fiesta.

“We had visitors from all over the country this morning at our event talking about the uniqueness of Indigenous people, and they were able to experience that. They were able to see dances from other Pueblo communities, from other tribal communities and to be on tribal land and to celebrate what we have to offer in foods and customs,” said Canfield. 

In fact, the timing of Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Balloon Fiesta means this is the biggest week of the year for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

They will have Native American performances, vendors and traditional food from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. all week.

“We are happy that we get to share that with people here with us,” said Silva. 

There will also be live music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday night through Wednesday evening at the plaza across the street from the center.