“I am proud to recognize the American Indians who are the truly native citizens to this great country of the United States. The many historical, cultural, and social contributions our American Indian citizens have made specifically to the great state of Texas have enriched our state tremendously. Similar to the other great holidays we celebrate for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and Jewish communities it is only fitting to recognize American Indians. After all, our success as a nation has been in large part due to the unique melting pot environment of the American people,” said Rep. Alonzo.
The latest Census data figures indicate that Texas ranks fourth among states with a large Indian population. In Texas, however, that population is still an invisible population. In fact, most citizens of Texas are not even aware of the existence of approximately 120 tribes (represented by its citizens), three federally-recognized Indian tribes, one state recognized tribe, eight federally-funded Indian Education programs in the state, one Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas and the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Texas. In short, this population truly does have a presence in the state of Texas. It does deserve this recognition.
Friday, September 27, 2013, the designated day, is devoted to education. School districts with Title VII American Indian Education Programs will be assisted with appropriate culturally relevant information.
Saturday, September 28, 2013 is the inaugural celebration, “ReBirth”. The cultural event will focus on Elders Presentation, Symphony of Drums, and Profile in History.
On April 25, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 174 effectively creating American Indian Heritage Day in Texas and because it got at least a two-thirds vote in both houses it takes effect immediately. This is important because it is not often that the Great State of Texas recognizes the historic, cultural, and social contributions of Native Americans within its borders. This law designates one day (the last Friday in September) to be observed in Texas public schools and other places with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor Native Americans in this state and to celebrate their traditional and contemporary culture. I think we can all appreciate that increased public awareness, particularly among new generations of Texans, of the history of Native Americans in Texas has implications for our profession as well.
Bill filed by Rep. Roberto Alonzo.
HB 174 reported out of House.
HB 174 passed the House.
HB 174 reported out of Senate.
HB 174 passed the Senate.
HB 174 signed by the Governor.
HB 174 becomes law.
A sponsor, in the United States Congress, is the first member of the House or Senate to be listed among the potentially numerous lawmakers who introduce a bill for consideration. Committees are occasionally identified as sponsors of legislation as well. A sponsor is also sometimes called a “primary sponsor.”
It should not be assumed that a bill’s sponsor actually drafted it. The bill may have been drafted by a staff member, by an interest group, or by others.In the Senate, multiple sponsorship of a bill is permitted.
In contrast to a sponsor, a “cosponsor” is a senator or representative who adds his or her name as a supporter to the sponsor’s bill. An “initial cosponsor” or “original cosponsor” is a senator or representative who was listed as a cosponsor at the time of a bill’s introduction, rather than added as a cosponsor later on. A cosponsor added later is known as an “additional cosponsor”. Some bills have hundreds of cosponsors.
The purpose of American Indian boarding schools was to remove American Indians from their home and cultures in order to change their identities and lifestyles to be like the “white man”. American Indian children were forced to think and act like the dominant white culture and were not allowed to practice their traditional ways. Not only were languages and beliefs changes, but appearances as well. Hair styles, clothing and even names and body languages were changed.
TRIBAL CONNECTION will recognize the state and city officials, the tribal dignitaries and its delegation, the sponsors, local tribal organizations, local tribal royalties, and honoring of the Tribal Elder of the Year, Mr. V. K. Oxendine. Special recognition will be given to the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma for its major sponsorship of the celebration of the American Indian Heritage Day.
In addition to the sacredness, American Indian music has evolved to become “an essential expression of American Indian identity. This cultural education session is focusing on the songs and hymns of American Indians. After brief explanation of the importance of American Indian music playing a vital role in history and education, listen to the songs of the Native American Church, listen to the ceremonial songs of various tribes, and tribal hymns being sung in many tribal languages.
This education project is the American Indian Heritage Day of Texas Committee’s first step into the realm of “social issues.” The mission of ‘Honor: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’ is to serve the greater Indigenous community as well as non-Indigenous community by providing an engaging and interactive educational tool and opportunity to be presented and used with the general public regarding misappropriation of Indigenous headdresses and to emphasize the traditional values and meanings of the many headdresses used by varying Indigenous groups with particular attention paid to the groups whose seats are in the state of Texas.
At our table/booth at the AIHD Celebration we will have images for guests to view to see from the past, as well as contemporary images, to show that headdresses their use, and their sacredness are not relegated to the past. We will have pamphlets, essays, and handouts for the public to take to continue the educational process. Also, we will have an actual physical headdress that belongs to one of our contributors who has earned the honor and right to wear and share information about the headdress from her tribe. We hope we have lots of visitors and are able to educate as much as possible.
THE first American Indian Boarding School was established in 1860 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. By 1879 using a model curriculum implemented by retired Army Colonel Richard Henry Pratt, the schools became “militarized”. By 1879 these school had enrollments of 12,000 students, by 1973 enrollment of 60,000 students.
AT the boarding schools children were forbidden to speak their native languages, forced to shed familiar clothing for uniforms, cut their hair and subjected to harsh discipline for the least infraction of the rules.
THE daily activities for the children were strictly regimented to keep the children continuously occupied with vocational level education and training, work activities, Christian teachings, maintaining the school and its farms, and removing any vestiges of their former lives to the point that these children no longer spoke their native language.
Peggy S. Larney
Karen Cash Onco