Dean Charlene Teters with U.S. Congresswoman Debra Haaland and”Lady in Red Shawl”.

Published March 20, 2019
SANTA FE, N.M. — IAIA Academic Dean Charlene Teters (Spokane) was honored by the New Mexico Senate during the New Mexico Fifty-Fourth Legislature as part of “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” Awareness Day. Teters displayed her painting “Lady in Red Shawl” during American Indian Day on February 1, 2019 in the State Capitol Rotunda.
NM Senators John Pinto and Benny Shendo, Jr. recognized NM Congresswoman Debra Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) on the Senate floor at the State Capitol as the guest speaker for 2019 American Indian Day. Congresswoman Haaland is an advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and is bringing the issue to national attention.
Charlene Teters is the Academic Dean of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She is a citizen of the Spokane Nation and well known for her work as an artist, writer, educator, and activist.
Teters earned an AFA from IAIA, a BFA from the College of Santa Fe, and an MFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In addition, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Mitchell College in New London, CT.
After establishing the Racial Justice Office at the National Congress of American Indians, Dean Teters returned to IAIA in 1992 as Director of Alumni Relations and Student Retention. In 2013, she was promoted to Associate Professor in the Studio Arts Department. She has also served as a Visiting Lecturer in the Art Department at the Ohio State University and received a two-year appointment as the Hugh O. LaBounty Endowed Chair at theCalifornia Polytechnic State University in Pomona, CA.
In 2000, Teters was appointed as the Interim Dean of the Academic Division during IAIA’s transition and move from the College of Santa Fe campus to theirnew campus in Rancho Viejo, and named the Academic Dean in 2015.

Teters has exhibited internationally and maintains an active presence lecturing and delivering keynote speeches and commencement addresses across the United States.  She first gained national prominence as a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she led protests against the degrading depictions of American Indian caricatures used as sport teams’ mascots. She was the subject of the award-winning documentary In Whose Honor by Jay Rosenstein. In 2002, she received a New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Her paintings and art installations have been featured in over 21 major exhibitions, commissions, and collections. Additionally, Teters was the first Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York.

Dean Teters had this to say about the experience: “It was such an honor to meet Congresswoman Debra Haaland. Her historic election to congress gives us all hope for the future. Her presence in Congress gives Native peoples visibility and highlights our struggles.”

To arrange an interview with Dean Teters, please contact Eric Davis at 505.424.2351, or

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