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In 2021, the Latino Native American Cultural Center (LNACC) celebrates its 50th anniversary. Created in 1971 by Chicano and American Indian students, LNACC has a long and important history at the University of Iowa. This exhibition shares that history in depth, and explores its establishment in the 1970s, its activism and programs, and much more. LNACC continues to be an active advocate, supporter, and resource for Latino and Native American students at the University of Iowa.

“The Center over the years has provided shelter, friends, music, theater, dance, poetry, books, and many, many discussions which were useful to balance the one-sided education most Chicanos and Native Americans received elsewhere.” -Antonio Zavala, co-founder of LNACC.

From the Curators

The Latino Native American Cultural Center is a living being that carries ancestral knowledge and history through the liveliness in our students’ celebrations, passions, and the overall vibrancy of the center. Celebrating our daily existence and our ancestors is a value that we honor when being of service to the students, community, and future generations. -Rachel Garza Carreón and Christopher Ortega

Exhibit Guide: Notes from the Curators (PDF)


Visit the virtual Building Our Own Community Exhibit.


Two chairs face a mural and the open gallery. Six cases of objects are visible in the photo.

From the Building Our Own Community: 50 Years of the Latino Native American Cultural Center, Founded by Chicano and American Indian Students in 1971 exhibition.

Curator Highlights from the Exhibition


Visit the Main Library Gallery’s Building Our Own Community LibGuide to view a collection of articles, resources, and more related to the exhibition.

Check out the LNACC LibGuide by Rachel Garza Carreón to read more about the history of the Latino Native American Cultural Center, to find information about Latinx and Native American campus groups and organizations, to discover resources for research, and to read articles about minorities in higher education.

Exhibition Curation
Rachel Garza Carreón and Christopher Ortega

Preparation & Installation
Bill Voss, Giselle Simón

Rachel Garza Carreón, Christopher Ortega, Kalmia Strong

Exhibition Coordination
Sara J. Pinkham

Exhibition Technology
Chris Clark, Will Brown

Publicity & Website
Sara J. Pinkham, Ken Clinkenbeard, Jennifer Masada

Virtual Exhibit Assembly
Sara J. Pinkham

Financial Support
Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries

Special thanks to Nancy “Rusty” Barceló, Ruth Pushetonequa, Antonio Zavala, Thomas Arce, Isabela Flores, Sandra Solis, Tracy Peterson, Rosa Higareda Heredia, Adriana Peterson, Karla Alvarez-Ledesma, Gabriela Rivera, Jesse Garza Carreón, everyone involved with the #DoesUIowaLoveMe campaign, the Latino Native American Cultural Center, the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA), the Native American Student Association (NASA), and to every Latinx and Native American who shattered barriers and paved the way for future generations.