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Governor appoints Navajo human rights leader to Indian Education Advisory Council for New Mexico

In January 2020, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham officially appointed Indigenous human rights leader, Alray Nelson, to the Indian Education Advisory Council as a urban representative. Council members serve a four year term from their respective regions.

“Governor Lujan Grisham wants to ensure every student is provided a culturally responsive education that respects and honors their Native language, heritage, and culture,” said Nelson from Santa Fe. ”I am honored to join a cohort of Indigenous leaders who are leading the movement for educational equity in classrooms. The Yazzie-Martinez lawsuit changed the narrative for New Mexico. My husband Brennen and I send our sincerest appreciation to the Governor for her resilient leadership.”

Nelson is the founder of Diné Equality and served the last two years as the Board Chairman of the Equality New Mexico Foundation. He is the Executive Director of Diné Pride and previously was its Chief Operating Officer. The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development recently recognized him as a Top 40 Native American Leader Under 40 and he is a recipient of the prestigious Naastiliid Rainbow Champion Award. Alray will continue to serve as a director for Teach For America New Mexico and provide leadership for the Diné LGBTQ+ movement.


Pursuant to the Indian Education Act (IEA) 22-23 A-6 the “Indian Education Advisory Council” was created and shall advise the education secretary and assistant secretary on the implementation of the provisions within this act for New Mexico.

Indian Education Mission:

To increase American Indian student academic and cultural achievement through culturally-relevant pedagogy, native language, and collaborative partnerships.

Indian Education Vision

All American Indian students will become proficient in academic, cultural, and leadership standards to become productive and contributing  members of their Pueblo/tribe/nation and state.

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