Creative Heroes

Look … in the sky … it’s a bird … it’s a plane … No, It’s … It’s an Indigenous Community!

Albuquerque, NM – Indigi Pop X (IPX), the Southwest’s own creative community is giving answers to some of the Native world’s social issues—no cape or superpower necessary. If you have ever wondered why, after years of oppression,  there are not mass retaliations from Indian Country, it is because Natives are busy creating positivity.  A positive example is the IPX event. A fall preview night was recently held in Albuquerque, NM hosted in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque, Native Women Lead, Innovate ABQ, and the New Mexico Humanities Council.  

The IPX preview event showcased an evolution of innovators of change that included artist, cosplay, jewelry, chefs, musicians, authors, and game developers. Diversity was a substantial element at this free, family-friendly event that was open to the public. Amidst the southwestern diversity, there was a common theme—everyone was there to express their indigenous identity. 

What was more awesome than the talent was the people.  Everyone was down to earth and happy to share their story, their purpose, and their goals for their creative business ventures.  Like Kirk Tom from the New Mexico region of Navajo Nation, who’s Star Wars themed costumes crafted in about a weeklong process using EVA foam. Tom’s work has been recognized in various events, including the 73rd annual Navajo Nation Fair. Another notable indigenous innovator present was Tina Archuleta, a Jemez Pueblo entrepreneur.  Archuleta owns Itality, a plant-based wellness food company created to encourage indigenous communities to eat healthy. Archuleta’s vegan pumpkin nachos were delicious!  So delicious, the person next to me cured any doubts by yelling over to testify how good they were.  The energy was kept up with the eclectic sounds of violinist Sage Cornelius.  The list of talent who volunteered for the preview could go on.  Just go! Whether it’s to look, buy, try new gear, buffalo tacos, comic books, or meet some heroes – The Indigi Pop X 2020 is something to look forward to. 

One might wonder, what does this have to do with the Tribal Law Journal? The IPOP X event does more than support community, business, and health internationally. The creators of this event advance Indigenous education and empowerment.  The event’s founder, Lee Francis, of Laguna Pueblo, has a PhD in Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership.  When asked how this event relates to law, he responded that IPX, “reverses the damaging effects of propaganda used against Natives to develop the historical anti-Indian policies.” Francis believes that showcasing Indigenous identity, educating the public about Indigenous strengths, and bringing people together contributes to solving societal issues in Native communities locally and worldwide.  The next IPX event is scheduled for March 25 – 29, 2020.  More information can be found at:

Felisha Adams is a second-year law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Felisha graduated magna cum laude from Diné College with a BA in Business Administration and Tribal Economic Development. She is also a proud Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) alumni.  Felisha is a member of the Navajo Nation who came from Iyanbito, NM to Albuquerque, NM to pursue a J.D. with a certificate in Indian Law. Her future plans include applying her business, cultural, educational, and legal experience towards supporting sovereignty and tribal economic development.


By Tribal Law Journal Blog

The Tribal Law Journal was established in fall 1998 for the purpose of promoting indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law.

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