For Immediate Release
9 February 2011

Melissa Lamar
860.773.1407 (office)

Native Americans to Share History and Culture at Tunxis


The public is invited to attend “Celebrating the Native Peoples of the Southwest,” a free presentation on the culture, traditions, and history of the Luiseno, Mojave, Chemehuevi, Zuni and Taos Indians at Tunxis Community College on March 1, 10-11:30 a.m. in Room 6-127. Blue corn pancakes, a traditional Pueblo meal, will be served.

Dressed in traditional attire, seven members from Luiseno, Mojave, Chemehuevi, Zuni and Taos tribes will be featured during the event, which will include presentations on Luiseno prayer, Spanish influence on the Southwest and building of missions, war implements, the ongoing legal battle regarding Luiseno water rights, the Mojave legal system, early childhood education, Mojave and Chemehuevi beadwork, Luiseno basketry, and pottery, jewelry and painting. Performances will feature Mojave singing and dancing.

Event organizer Dr. Frances O’Neil, Tunxis professor of psychology, has developed several courses on American Indians of the Southwest with other Tunxis faculty that utilize her extensive research on Navajo, Mojave, and Pueblo Indian reservations. O’Neil has participated in many of the rituals and ceremonies while visiting the reservations, and was a recipient of three Navajo blessing and healing ceremonies. O’Neil is currently teaching “The Mojave Indians” and “The Pueblo Indians.”

For more information on “Celebrating the Native Peoples of the Southwest” or about Tunxis courses on American Indians, call 860.255.3734 or 255.3500, or email Those who are interested in attending are encouraged to arrive early.

The event is one of a series at Tunxis celebrating 40 years of education in the Farmington Valley and beyond. The College first opened for classes in October 1970 and currently offers over 60 associate’s degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need.

Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington. Visit Tunxis at