SIPI celebrates 40 years of Native education

Feb 8th, 2012 | By | Category: 23-3: Technology and Culture, Tribal College News

This fall, the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI, Albuquerque, NM) celebrated its 40th anniversary. In 1960, the All Indian Pueblo Council envisioned a school that would serve the Native American community. Through the collective efforts of tribal leaders, public officials, and interested citizens, construction began ten years later. Dedication ceremonies were held on August 21, 1971 and on September 16, 1971 SIPI officially opened its doors for classes.

In honor of the tribal college’s 40th anniversary, its president, Dr. Sherry Allison (Diné) presided over several celebratory activities, including a traditional “Pueblo Throw Day” on July 25 in honor of St. James; a campus blessing by medicine people from the Diné, Pueblo, and Sioux tribes, followed by a traditional meal; and a campus float created for the New Mexico State Fair parade. In September, SIPI also held a day of celebration that included a “fun run and walk,” talent display, Indian dances from the Pueblos of Laguna and Zuni, and a meal of Indian tacos and chili stew. In November, SIPI hosted a Gala and powwow.

All events were planned by SIPI’s Student Life Committee, a body representing both students and staff. With the exception of the Gala, all activities were funded by a grant from the American Indian College Fund.

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