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2018-2019 La Canoa Legacy Talks


La Canoa: Environmental Policies, Planning, and Cultural Connections of Nuevo México

April 13, 2019

During this lecture, community planner and environmental planning consultant, Valerie Rangel, shares historical research, land use planning, and policy frameworks that shed light on issues of environmental contamination and public health while uplifting the voices of immigrant farm workers, tribal members, environmental and social activists from the communities of Nuevo México. She focuses on the history and contributions of the communities of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Pueblo of Isleta as well as sacred sites, the Gila River and the Rio Grande.

Valerie Rangel earned a Master’s Degree in Community Regional Planning with an emphasis in environmental and natural resource management, indigenous planning and public health. Her education involved environmental science, southwest history, Native American studies and cultural anthropology. Having taught college science courses, she presently works as an environmental planning and public health assessment consultant and community program manager for the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) and volunteers as a river steward and social justice activist.

This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: The Power and Place of the Apachería in Colonial New Mexico

March 16, 2019

Dr. Daniel Webb examines the history of the diverse population of Athapaskan-speaking peoples identified as Apache (Ndé) in the colonial archives of northern New Spain. He traces the different stages of their migration and territorial expansion across the vast geographical expanse known as the Apachería (the Apaches’ ancestral homelands), illustrating their relations with other sovereign Indian nations and Hispano settlers, and the policies that Spain introduced in the eighteenth century to restrict their mobility. Through analysis of a wide range of historical materials, including sources from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico and the Archivo General de la Nación de México, Webb’s research highlights the cultural practices and the environmental conditions that allowed the diverse Apache bands, clans and family lineages to flourish in the periphery of colonial New Mexico. Paradoxically, this contributed to the decline of tribal sovereignty in the nineteenth century.

Daniel Webb (University of Chicago, Ph.D. 2017) is a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies. He is an early American historian with specializations in Native American, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and Latino/a history. His research has been supported by the John Carter Brown Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: Acequia Resolanas: Mutuality, Social Praxis and the New Mexico Acequia Movement in the New Millennia

February 23, 2019

Dr. David García presents a discussion about the role Resolana plays within New Mexico acequia communities. In the last decade, Resolana has functioned as a traditional gathering space, a place of governance, and as an emergent metaphor for social organizing. This talk details how the Resolana is being used by the New Mexico Acequia Association as a central theory which functions as a mode of engagement from acequia canals to the halls of state legislature. Building on the work of La Academia de la Nueva Raza, a 1970s organization based in Embudo, New Mexico, this mode of engagement has continued on as a form of movementbuilding. The creation of La Escuelita de Las Acequias, within the New Mexico Acequia Association, demonstrates this. In addition, Dr. García will discuss the significance of language performance and space within the resolana and the significant role the resolana plays as a customary infrastructure for the local ethnopoetics of acequia governance in New Mexico.

Dr. David García is a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies as well as a part-time instructor in the Department of Chicana/Chicano Studies at UNM. Dr. García received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: OUTSIDE THE RECIPES: The Sustenance of Story

January 26, 2019

Querencia, as defined by Nuevomexicano scholar, Juan Estevan Arellano, is “love of place”. Dr. Patricia Perea illuminates the articulation of querencia as it speaks directly with the writings and experiences discussed by Fabiola Cabeza de Baca’s The Good Life: New Mexico Traditions and Food (2005), Denise Chávez’s A Taco Testimony (2006), and The Pueblo Food Experience: Whole Food of Our Ancestors (2016). Each of these works connect the texture of food, the complex ties of family, and the starkness of geography to the experience of ancestral memory and belonging. In addition to discussing these narratives, Dr. Perea included her own experiences on the road home through community and story.

Dr. Patricia M. Perea currently teaches at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. She completed her PhD in American Studies in 2010. Her dissertation and graduate work focused on Mexican American autobiography and visual culture. She is a published poet and continues familial traditions that include weaving and traditional colcha embroidery. Her most recent project was the publication of the cookbook, The Pueblo Food Experience Cookbook: Whole Foods of Our Ancestors. Her future projects include continuing work on recent Mexican American autobiography and the histories and experiences of Mexican Americans in the Texas Panhandle.

This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: The Nuclear Option: Perpetuating the Myth of New Mexico as Wasteland

December 15, 2018

UNM Assistant Professor Myrriah Gómez discusses New Mexico and the nuclear option. Long before the nuclear industrial complex began in here in 1942, New Mexico was depicted by outsiders as a “wasteland.” In an effort to combat that historical portrayal, the New Mexico Bureau of Immigration issued Aztlán: The History, Resources and Attractions of New Mexico in 1885, a book that was used to recruit Anglos to New Mexico in an effort to shift the racial and ethnic demographics so as to earn statehood. Building on Anglo rhetoric from the 19th century, the federal government continues to use the same arguments to convert New Mexico into the premier repository for the nation’s nuclear waste. This talk will discuss the rearticulation of New Mexico as a nuclear wasteland in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Myrriah Gómez is a Nuevo Mexicana from the Pojoaque Valley. She is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. Myrriah’s current book project, Nuclear Nuevo México: Identity, Ethnicity, and Resistance in Atomic Third Spaces, examines the effects of the nuclear industry on people of color in New Mexico.

This event was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: Patriots from the Barrio

November 17, 2018

Author Dave Gutierrez discusses his book, Patriots from the Barrio, the true story of Company E 141st Infantry, the only all Mexican American U.S. Army unit in WWII. Mr. Gutierrez originally self-published his book in 2014. In September of 2017, Hollywood actor/producer Wilmer Valderrama obtained the film rights to the book. Westholme Publishing released a new edition of the book in May 2018.

Dave Gutierrez is a professional researcher, historical presenter, and writer. His articles have appeared in publications including American Legion and War History Online. Recognized by both the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin and the El Paso Museum of History for his groundbreaking work on Company E, he also specializes in genealogical research, Mexican American history, and World War II studies. Dave and his family reside in San Jose, California.

This event was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: The Women of Local 890 and the Empire Mine Strike

October 20, 2018

Professor Kells examines “embodied rhetoric” in the Local 890 chapter of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers of Hanover, New Mexico, who staged one of the nation’s most effective groundbreaking strikes near Silver City from October 1950 to January 1952. The grievances of the Empire Zinc workers included racial discrimination in job duties and pay, toxic work environments, and inequitable power sharing between labor and management. The dramatic showdown, resulting in incarceration of forty-five women, seventeen children, and a six-month-old baby, shocked the nation.

Michelle Hall Kells is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Mexico where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Rhetoric and Writing. Kells received the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Research Fellowship in 2008. Her recent book is Vicente Ximenes, LBJ’s “Great Society,” and Mexican American Civil Rights Rhetoric (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018). Kells is also lead editor of Latino/a Discourses: On Language, Identity, and Literacy Education (Heinemann, 2004).

This event was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.


La Canoa: Mulattos of Cochiti: Caste in Spanish New Mexico

September 15, 2018

Deputy State Historian, Rob Martinez, examines the role of racial mixing, identity, and the categorizing of humans living in Spanish Colonial New Mexico. The approach will be through the lens of the casta, or caste system. Historical research, genealogy, and DNA all converge to provide a clearer understanding of Hispano roots in New Mexico, as well as in Latino-Meso America and Hispanic Europe.

Rob Martinez is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Albuquerque. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a B.B.A. in International Business Management, Rob went on to pursue his interest in New Mexican culture and history at UNM, earning an M.A. in Latin American history, with an emphasis on church, cultural, and social practices of the Spanish Colonial period in New Mexico. Mr. Martinez worked for fourteen years as a research historian for the Sephardic Legacy Project, scouring civil and church archives in New Mexico, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, analyzing documents for a research and publishing project about the Crypto-Jewish phenomenon in New Mexico and the Caribbean. Rob has presented papers and lectures on his research at the University of New Mexico as well as history conferences throughout the southwestern United States. He has also spoken to historical groups in New Mexico such as the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Historical Society, and the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies about research methodology, unique findings, New Mexico Hispanic culture, and general History of New Mexico. Mr. Martinez is also a folk musician, performing and promoting New Mexican Hispanic musical traditions for the past twenty years with his brother Lorenzo and their father Roberto Martinez in the group Los Reyes de Albuquerque. With his musical family, he has performed in all parts of New Mexico, and on multiple occasions has presented music and New Mexican culture at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship Awards, and also at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This event was part of the La Canoa lecture series, presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.