Native Americans | Texas Public Radio

Native Americans

Al Rendon

On Fronteras:

  • The Strong Heart Study has tracked the heart health of Native American populations since 1988. (0:00)

  • Family and friends remember Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, MD, a Canary Islands native who championed San Antonio’s culture (11:50).


From Texas Standard:

In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act. Before the law, a vast majority of Native American children in foster care were placed in homes outside of native communities. The law was meant to correct that, and it mandated that Native American families have priority in adopting Native American children.

Courtney Campbell/University of Texas at San Antonio

Rebel Mariposa is an indigenous woman who is chef and owner of La Botánica, a vegan restaurant in San Antonio that embodies indigenous traditions from the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and New Mexico. She helped design the menu for a benefit gala to benefit American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, a nonprofit that works to preserve the indigenous traditions of the peoples of South Texas.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

On March 5, 1731, Spanish friars essentially handed the keys to San Antonio’s missions to the Native American families who lived there. Just four days later, 56 residents from the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands landed in San Antonio, sent by Spain’s King Felipe the Fifth to establish the first official government in the province of Texas. And with that, thousands of years of Native American history in San Antonio began to disappear.

Paul Casanova Garcia

The San Antonio Missions are great gateways for visitors to explore the city's Spanish colonial past. But an event at the San Juan Mission on Saturday is a reminder that the real story they offer may be much bigger than we think.

Modern Indigenous American history is a history of resistance. It's often assumed that Indigenous resistance to white settlers and enterprisers is often considered an act of self-defense, when it was — and is — also a battle between starkly different value systems.

For the Oceti Sakowin, or Sioux Nation, resistance is not just based on a claim to land that invaders have sought to usurp and exploit; it's also about what "land" means. In Our History Is The Future, Nick Estes poignantly describes an idea of what land means from an Indigenous perspective:

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Reynaldo Leanos Jr./Texas Public Radio

Tuesday night, President Trump stands before a joint session of Congress, assesses the state of the union and likely makes another case for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has said he'd be willing to shut the government down again if the funding doesn't materialize. 

But money has already been allocated for some border wall projects, including a 6-mile stretch of wall in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

When she was 5 years old, Michelle Sherman learned exactly what her mother thought of gay men.

"I remember seeing two guys holding hands, and then my mom's like, 'Oh, that's disgusting,' and so I was like, 'OK, maybe it is disgusting,' " Sherman says.

But then she realized she was attracted to girls and began to believe something was wrong with her too. At just 11 years old, Sherman attempted suicide.

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