First Santa Fe Plaza powwow among Indigenous Peoples’ Day events in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It is the second Monday of October which means the state of New Mexico is recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day.


In 2019, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 100 into law, replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the state.

New Mexico is one of 17 U.S. states to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 23 tribes – including 19 pueblos, the Navajo Nation and 3 Apache tribes – call our state home in some way.


The Santa Fe Indigenous Center is hosting an intertribal powwow on the plaza from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Tesuque Pueblo Dancers kicked off the day. At 11 a.m., gourd dancing will take place with Cody Ayon (Cheyenne), a Deming High School graduate, as the head dancer.

Grand Entry and the Parade of Nations will take place at 1 p.m., with powwow dancing to follow.

Performers include:

  • James Edwards (Pawnee), master of ceremonies
  • Jhane Myers (Comanche), head woman dancer
  • Terry Pecos (Jemez Pueblo), head man dancer
  • Black Eagle (Jemez Pueblo), northern drum
  • ShieldChief (Pawnee), southern drum
  • Aaron Fry (Cherokee/Chickasaw), arena director

Officials say guest drums are welcome, as well as all gourd societies and clans and Native royalty. All are welcome to attend and you’re encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

If you go to Santa Fe, the New Mexico History Museum is also offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


If you’re around Albuquerque for Balloon Fiesta, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is having its annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration.

Festivities are going on from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the performers are the Kaltonaka Dance Group from Chichimeca Mexica Azteca (10 a.m.) and the Pueblo Dance Group (11 a.m.)

The Pueblo Dance Group consists of dancers from Laguna, Acoma, Hopi and Zuni Pueblos.

Miss Indian New Mexico 2023-24 and past Miss Indian New Mexico 2022-23 speak at noon.

At 12:15 p.m., Ricardo Cate kicks off the afternoon, consisting of these performers.

  • Sky City Buffalo Ram Dancers (Acoma Pueblo) – 1 p.m.
  • Kallestewa Dance Group (Zuni) – 2 p.m.
  • White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers – 3 p.m.

Gary Keene (Acoma Pueblo) will also be doing storytelling in the children’s area at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Native American artists will also be in the courtyard.

The day began with speakers from Isleta, Sandia and Laguna Pueblos. U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury also spoke.


Coinciding with the IPCC’s events is the Native Leadership Collective of Albuquerque’s event in Tiguex Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sage Bond and Emmet Yepa will perform. The event will feature youth activities, resource vendors, a raffle and voter registration.


If you can’t make any of these events, don’t worry. Bow & Arrow Brewing, near I-40 and Sixth Street, just north of downtown Albuquerque, is having a celebration from 3-8 p.m.

The family-friendly event will celebrate Indigenous music, food and artisans with performances by Sage Bond at 4:30 p.m. and Stanlie Kee at 6 p.m.

These places are closed for the day:

  • Albuquerque Museum
  • Animal shelters
  • APS schools
  • Balloon Museum
  • Childhood development centers
  • City of Albuquerque community centers, libraries and offices
  • Courts
  • Health and social service centers
  • Senior meal sites
  • State, federal and congressional offices

The Eastside and Westside animal shelters will be closed except for intake and reclaims.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham released the following statement on Indigenous Peoples’ Day:

“Today we honor the culture and history of this nation’s First People. New Mexico is proud to share its borders with 23 Nations, Tribes and Pueblos, each of which holds a deep and rich heritage. Our state and our nation are better for the innumerable contributions of native people, including in our legislature and government. We also reflect today on the historic discrimination and systematic oppression imposed on Native Americans for generations. Today, we recommit ourselves to righting the wrongs of the past in pursuit of true equity.”