October 12, 2020
The Santa Fe Indian Center (SFIC) is excited to announce that on Indigenous Peoples’ Day of this year, 2020, it will officially change its name to the Santa Fe Indigenous Center.
Why the Name Change from Santa Fe Indian Center to Santa Fe Indigenous Center?
The name change was decided by unanimous vote of the Santa Fe Indigenous Center board. We prefer the word “Indigenous” to better describe the communities we aim to serve – those whose ancestors lived here since time immemorial. The term “Indigenous” is inclusive to those who refer to themselves as something other than Indian. Because the label “Indian” is one that was imposed upon us, it can never truly reflect our identities as the first peoples of this land. We recognize the use of the word “Indian” among our own communities as appropriate in many contexts. By identifying as Indigenous, we assert the power to define ourselves on our own terms.
Terminology can be a complicated, and at times, contentious issue, but we believe that this change in renaming the center is a small but important step in reclaiming who we are as the first peoples.
Further, the term Indigenous is more in line with national and international efforts for the liberation and expansion of the inherent sovereignty of our peoples, here and elsewhere. The United Nations Doctrine on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is but one example of this: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html.
Diné (Navajo) artist and SFIC board member, David Sloan, designed the Santa Fe Indigenous Center’s new logo. The Southwestern Plant, Tsa’ahzi’, or Yucca, was chosen because it is an Indigenous medicine and material used to promote good health and life.
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