San Juan College celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

Sam Ribakoff
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan College kicked off its third Indigenous Peoples Day celebration Oct. 14 with Navajo tea and an open mic where students and community members had a chance to share stories, poetry, history and Native American music.

“Indigenous Peoples Day means, to me, that we celebrate who we are,” said James Soos, who shared Native American songs and stories in San Juan College’s Student Sun Lounge. “We remember our culture, we remember our ancestors, we remember our traditions and keep them alive, because we’re not dead.”

Earlier this year, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as an official state holiday to celebrate and honor Native American culture, history, and people. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October.

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 or via email at sribakoff@daily-times.com.

A free calendar in the Navajo language and a button advertising San Juan College's Indigenous Peoples Day celebration sits on a table at San Juan College on Oct. 14 2019.
Byron Tsabetsaye, director of San Juan College's Native American Center at the college's Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Oct. 14 2019.
James Soos sings a traditional song at San Juan College's Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Oct. 14 2019.
A sign for Indigenous Peoples Day welcomes students and community members at San Juan College on Oct. 14 2019.