Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Colleen Wright
PORTALES – Through the collaboration of Eastern New Mexico University, Gateway Computers and the Mescalero Tribe, there is a new computer lab on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, south of Ruidoso.
In June, Dr. Jim Miller, director of the ENMU-Ruidoso Instruction Center, Dr. Ed Kinley, director of ENMU's Computing and Information Services, and John Shendo, the director of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, submitted a proposal to have some computers donated to the tribe for a computer lab. (Shendo is a 1989 ENMU graduate.)
In August, Gateway agreed to donate 10 computers, service, and software to the tribe to set up a small lab. The lab will be available to all tribal members, such as for typing documents or accessing the Internet.
The reservation just finished building a $34.6 million dollar K-12 school complex. The school has the latest in technology to educate the children. The new Gateway-ENMU-Tribal computer lab will now educate the adults of the tribe as well.
"One of the great things about the new lab is the partnership that made it happen," Miller said. "A university, a corporation and a Native American tribe getting together brought the latest in technology to the Apache people."
Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso will offer non-credit classes to tribal members in the new lab and will provide a computer technician to work on the computers as needed. ENMU-Portales is helping through software support and assistance in installation of the computers.
ENMU-Ruidoso will also use the lab to hold credit classes, for both tribal and non-tribal members. This will be the first time the Ruidoso branch of ENMU has been able to offer computer classes at the Mescalero site.