Indigenous Women Rising & NM Breastfeeding Task Force Recognized for Work to Make Pueblo Regalia Breast-feeding Friendly

Published May 2, 2018

Albuquerque Team Honored at MIT Hack-a-Thon

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS – Albuquerque’s Indigenous Women Rising and the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force joined forces to participate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hack-A-Thon” where, on Sunday, the team won the Healthy Communities Award for their work collaborating with Laguna Pueblo moms and Pueblo seamstresses to make traditional dresses that are breastfeeding friendly.

“I am so proud of the work we did with our community–we did it with good hearts and love for our tradition and our people,” said IWR co-founder Rachael Lorenzo (Laguna Pueblo, Mescalero Apache, Chicana). “Winning this award helps us show other Indigenous communities what is possible for them and work through the impact of colonization in a new and innovative way.”

Lorenzo and IWR co-founder Malia Luarkie brought together the team, which also includes Monica Esparza of the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force and Marya Errin Jones, founder of ABQ Zine Fest. The team’s work will help Pueblo women participate in Pueblo religious activities and still breastfeed.

“I am not only proud of our work, but I am also honored that our project has been so well received by our community and the judges at the Hack-A-Thon. This project is meant to bridge the gap between tradition and breastfeeding and there’s value in that,” said Luarkie (Laguna Pueblo, African American).

At the Hack-A-Thon, the team collaborated with Laura Zittrain and Kristina Krause to modify an existing prototype of a dress by experimenting with different kinds of fabric.

The prize for the award is a consultation with one of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation evaluation partners to build up the project for longevity.

“We look forward to moving this from prototype to reality,” Lorenzo said. “The support of the Kellogg Foundation and this award will help us reach our ultimate goal of building stronger, healthier Native communities.”

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