ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They say they’re seeking justice for Native Americans on the University of New Mexico’s campus.
A group of Native Americans are planning to deliver a list of demands to the school’s president on Friday over UNM’s official seal — one this group calls racist.
First on that list — abolishing UNM’s seal.
“That seal represents violence against me,” said UNM student Leoyla Cowboyy.
Leoyla Cowboyy says she works at UNM and she’s a student there. She says she passes this imagery every day — imagery she says represents violence against her people.
The nearly 50-year-old seal depicts a conquistador and frontiersmen.
Leoyla says that translates to the taking of her land and the genocide of her people.
A while back, the Native American-led group, the “Red Nation” handed out flyers with bones placed on the seal and a caption, “What Indians?”
It’s why she and other natives — both from the campus KIVA club and The Red Nation — are calling on all people to speak up and speak out on what they consider blatant racism.
” We are here to speak out and to support one another,” said Cowboyy. “We’re tired of being constantly erased as an indiginous people.”
Other demands on their list include reconstruction of a Native Cultural Center and more Native American faculty at the administrative level.
Students are set to meet at the president’s office at noon Friday and say that anyone can come out.
UNM’s president also told KRQE News 13 the university is open to a conversation.