Student center

Northern New Mexico College Native American Student Center Reopens Thursday – Los Alamos Reporter

Nathana Bird, MA will serve as Director of AISC. She hopes the center can be a space for Native American students to gather, study and organize with each other. Photo courtesy NNMC


Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) is proud to announce the grand reopening of the Native American Student Center in the Rotunda of the Española Campus Administration Building at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 22.

The American Indian Student Center (AISC) meets the unique educational needs of Native American students, providing them with academic and personal support to enter and succeed in college. AISC works with the northern community to ensure cultural sensitivity, promote partnerships with tribes to meet the educational needs of their communities, seek outside resources to benefit students, and ensure that Native American students receive services on the campus that will help them succeed. in college and in their careers.

“Along with our partners in northern New Mexico, we respectfully celebrate the reopening of the Native American Student Center at Northern New Mexico College,” said Kurt Steinhaus, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Public Education. “This is an especially important partnership given the school’s proximity to the eight northern pueblos and for our Indigenous students. We recognize the importance of creating a welcoming and culturally relevant space for students.

Students are encouraged to use the center for a variety of services and resources, whose services include academic support, counseling, and career services. AISC will host a variety of workshops and activities throughout the semester to support students on their educational journey.

AISC will also serve as a gathering space for the American Indian Student Organization (AISO) on campus, providing support and guidance to AISO students. The Northern community is proud to build on AISC’s decades of service to Northern Indigenous students and its partnership with the Northern Pueblos Institute at the Center on campus.

“The Indian American Student Center at Northern New Mexico College will provide students with the critical support they need to have a meaningful higher education experience in the heart of the eight northern pueblos,” said Tribal Liaison Officer Nathan Moquino. and Director of the Department of Indian Higher Education. Education Division. “The multitude of resources provided by Native American centers supports retention and propels students toward their academic goals. The New Mexico Department of Higher Education congratulates Northern New Mexico College on the grand reopening of its Indian American Student Center and we thank them for renewing their commitment to Native students! »

Nathana Bird, MA, who will be the director of AISC, hopes the center can be a space for Native American students to gather, study and organize with one another. Bird is from Ohkay Owingeh and Kewa Pueblo. She has been a community organizer focused on education, environmental and reproductive justice in Northern New Mexico for over 20 years. Bird comes to Northern New Mexico College with experience in project management and organizational capacity building as an associate director and in other roles with Tewa Women United. His education includes a Master of Arts in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in American Indian Education from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies in Psychology from Northern New Mexico College.

“Continuing to provide a center for our Indigenous people on campus shows that we are invested in their future and higher educational experiences. Being in the heart of Pueblo country, here at Española, we must continually show up for our native students. This center is a resource for them. said the bird.

“We are here to defend them and encourage them along the way, even when the going gets tough. Sometimes Indigenous students are first generation students and it can be daunting to go through this journey on your own. AISC is here to help you through it all. We want to see our Aboriginal students take this beginning step and pursue their calling in life.

NNMC American Indian Student Center Grand Reopening Events Schedule:

Opening ceremony


College of Northern New Mexico

September 22, 2022


Regent Porter Swentzell, PhD


Governor J. Michael Chavarria

Santa Clara Pueblo


Dr. Barbara M. Medina

President, NNCM

Nathana Bird, director

American Indian Student Center

Recognition of Indigenous students, faculty and staff


Master Hoop Dancer, ShanDien LaRance

Vocalist/drummer, Edwin Felter


Restoration by Manko

Native American Fusion

About the North:

College of Northern New Mexico has served rural communities in northern New Mexico for over a century. Since its opening in 1909 as the Hispanic-American Normal School in El Rito, NM, the College has provided affordable access to quality academic programs that meet the region’s changing educational, economic, and cultural needs.

Northern is an open-admission institution offering the most affordable bachelor’s degree programs in the Southwest. Now one of four comprehensive regional institutions in the state, with its main campus in Española, Northern offers more than 50 bachelor’s, associate’s, and certificate programs in arts and humanities, film and digital media, STEM programs, commerce, education, liberal arts, and nursing. The College reintroduced technical trades in partnership with two local unions and five public school districts through its new Branch Community College, the first of its kind in state history. Northern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has earned prestigious national accreditations for its engineering, nursing, education and business programs.Learn more about