San Antonio City Council passed a resolution establishing October 14 as "Indigenous Peoples Day." Other cities and states have also done this to refocus the historical lens on Native people — the first inhabitants of the Americas.
Indigenous Peoples Day as recognized by the local government has evolved over the past four years. A 2015 measure created by the Bexar County Commissioners Court originally designated a celebratory day for indigenous people in San Antonio but the holiday was not granted in perpetuity.
Many people may not know how rich San Antonio is in Native American history. American Indians account for 1.4% of Bexar County's population, according to a 2012-2016 American Community Survey. Mexican Americans are in part ethnically indigenous, as well.
What does it actually mean to be "indigenous"? What is the history of indigenous people in this part of Texas? What can archaeological findings tell us about their traditions and ways of life?
What tribes, cultures and nations have been and still are represented in the San Antonio area? How can we better incorporate indigenous peoples into the narrative of Texas history?
- Ramon Vasquez, executive director of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT)
- Linda Ximenes, tribal council member for the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation
- Shawn Marceaux, director of the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, October 7.