Indigenous Design + Planning Institute (iD+Pi) at the University of New Mexico engages faculty, students, professionals, and policy leaders in culturally appropriate design and planning practices to foster sustainable communities within Indigenous populations—communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. iD+Pi works with the three major programs in UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning, and with Indigenous tribes who are located principally in New Mexico and the Southwest.

From iD+Pi Director Theodore Jojola: “The understated asset to placemaking is partnering with your regional Tribal Community Colleges and Universities (TCUs). These minority-serving institutions were created by Congressional Act in 1978. They are controlled and operated by American Indian tribes and serve local communities in the pursuit of post-secondary educational needs as well as serving as a pipeline to public universities. Today there are 38.

“iD+Pi has been building partnerships with several of them including a major consortium, the American Indian College Fund. In April of this year, we jointly presented at the invitation of their SEEDs (Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design & Stewardship) program a webinar entitled The People are Beautiful Already [based on Jojola’s eponymous essay].

“In addition, we are proposing to partner with ArtPlace America to build a network of ArtPlace grantees that serve Indigenous groups. They represent 23 projects with a combined grant total of $14.6 million. An organizing meeting was held at the ArtPlace 2018 Annual Summit. Through this network, we want to have them build partnerships with their local TCUs and enlist their faculty and students in comparable endeavors.”


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