colonialism

courtesy of Dr. Assata Zerai / University of New Mexico

On Wednesday, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents approved a new official seal design. The decision comes after years of advocacy by Native American students and faculty who said the old seal, featuring a conquistador and a frontiersman, celebrated genocide and colonial oppression. But the Regent’s final selection is not the design that won a popular vote, and that has many people feeling left out of what was supposed to be an inclusive process. 

  3/16 Over the last year numerous protests have erupted around Confederate memorials throughout the South. Here in New Mexico we have also grappled with a history of colonialism and racism. That has played out at the annual Entrada during Santa Fe’s Fiestas, and at the University of New Mexico, where there have also been protests and calls for change around the university’s official seal and murals created in 1939 in the Zimmerman Library. The Three Peoples murals have been criticized for decades for what people have called racist and inaccurate depictions.