A Living Archive of Urban Indians

A Living Archive of Urban Indians utilizes mapping, public art, and urban exploration to present the historic legacy of downtown architectural landmarks for and about Urban Indians in Albuquerque. With A Living Archive of Urban Indians, the Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (iD+Pi),  the Downtown Albuquerque Arts & Cultural District (the District), and community partners will showcase the rich history of Urban Indians. 

Albuquerque has served as a homebase for generations of native people who have accessed centralized governmental, social services, and businesses specific to them. Public rhetoric routinely focuses on the “Indian problem” – including chronic conditions such as homelessness, alcohol and substance abuse, poverty, and illiteracy – rather than recognizing the contributions of Indigenous populations to the urban community’s culture and economy.

In response, archival data will be used to develop multimedia living history experiences featuring actors and projections for the 5 identified historic sites:

  1. Tewa Weavers Shop (904 4th Street SW)
  2. Maisel’s Trading Post (510 Central Ave SW)
  3. Alvarado Train Station (320 1st Street SW)
  4. KiMo Theater (423 Central Avenue NW)
  5. Railyards (777 1st Street SW)

iD+Pi and District staff will develop and implement schedules for these performances, culminating in a series of public performances at the sites. Additional community partners for this project include: the Native American Voters Alliance, Native American Community Academy, Native Realities, Tricklock Theatre Company, Space Analysis, and 88 Block Walks. This project is made possible with support from the PNM Resources Foundation. 

Check back in June 2019 for a full list of performance dates!

Weavers at the Tewa Weavers Shop. Image courtesy of iD+Pi.
Katherine Mescal, (Navajo), one of the first weaving instructors hired by the Indian Service. Image courtesy of iD+Pi.