American Indian

Heritage Day in Texas




Signed by Gov. Perry, Friday, May 10 / HB 174 Makes Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 first American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

The first official American Indian Heritage Day in Texas is Friday, September 27, 2013, thanks to legislation authored by Texas State Representative Roberto R. Alonzo of Dallas. House Bill 174, which was signed by Governor Rick Perry on Friday, May 10, 2013, creates American Indian Heritage Day in Texas, in recognition of the many historical, cultural, and social contributions our American Indian communities and leaders have made to this great state of ours.

“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.

Southwest Jewish Congress
The Southwest Jewish Congress is dedicated to educating the public on Israel and the Middle East, celebrating community cultural and interfaith diversity and initiating programs of mutual interest and concern with the community.
Rep. Roberto R. Alonzo
Roberto R. Alonzo is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing the 104th District since 1993.
The UT Arlington Native American Student Association (NASA) promotes culturally relevant activities that foster a closer union, individual tribal traditions and custom. Much of the HB 174 was written on the UT Arlington campus.
Akin Gump
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, a leading global law firm, and their commitment to diversity, reached out to our AIHD committee.

Representative Roberto Alonzo, the author of HB 174, and Mr. Jesse Bernal, were most helpful
in the passage of the bill. Governor Rick Perry signed HB 174 into law on May 10, 2013.

Texas Legislature History

HB 174 became Law / 05/10/2013

Stage 7
HB 174 becomes law. Effective immediately. 5/10/2013.

Welcome to the American Indian Heritage Day in Texas Celebration
2013 / Rebirth / Celebration


American Heritage Day in Texas

Rebirth / 2013 Celebration


House Bill 174, “American Indian Heritage Day” in State of Law is passed. The Inaugural Celebration of the passage of the American Indian Heritage Day in the State of Texas, “RE-BIRTH 2013” will be presented at the Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, September 28, 2013, from 10 am to 5 pm.

“RE-BIRTH 2013” means the American Indians are no longer the invisible people. It is now the time to share with the people of Texas of the many historical, cultural, and social contributions our communities and leaders have contributed to the State of Texas.

Come. Listen, Learn, and Hear.
It is time to listen. Profile in History will be an ongoing video loop of individual American Indians as they reflect on the importance of the LAW, living in Texas and blending of two or more cultures.It is time to learn. Elders Presentation will highlight their tribal history, blending of traditional and modern cultures, participation in the relocation program, and much more. A Dallas resident will be honored as the last full blood tribal member of the Wichita Tribe during this program.It is time to hear. Symphony of Drums. This is a sensorial experience of the heartbeats of drums. Why is the drum important to Indians? The emcee will share that information as well as many other important information. The Northern and Southern style of singing drum groups will share their heritage with the audience.Yes, Come! Celebrate with us in the passage of HR 174 into a LAW.

9:55am - 10:06am

Opening Ceremonies

Opening Ceremonies

9:55am / Opening Drum Song
Bear Claws Drum

10:00am / Opening Prayer
Curtis Williams

10:02am / Welcome, Opening Remarks
Brian Larney

10:06 / Recognition of Texas State Representative
ROBERTO ALONZO, District 104

10:14am - 12:25am

Elders Presentation

Six American Indians will share their stories of their Tribal History/Culture/Traditions

Kathy McDonald, Facilitator
American Indians tribal members will share their tribal history/culture/traditions.  Some of the elders came to Dallas under the relocation program and help shaped the early Dallas Indian history. They will share stories how they coped with a newly developing urban community and a new contemporary tradition outside of their comfort zone.

2013 Rebirth Celebration / Keynote Speaker

Special Recognition – Bernice Whitefeather
“Last full blood female tribal member of the Wichita Nation” 

Roland Poncho – Alabama-Coushatta
Velma Bush – Apache
Juanita Ahtone – Kiowa
Bernice Whitefeather – Wichita
Rodney Stapp, D.P.M. – Comanche
Rosalinda Dillon –  Caddo
Eve and Curtis Williams – Ponca

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Recognition of Awards

Recognition of Awards

Brian Larney, Emcee

2013 Rebirth Celebration / Keynote Speaker

Recognitions to native and non-native individuals, organization, companies, and Texas Legislatures who were VERY HELPFUL in the passage of HB 174 into a law, thus declaring the last Friday in September as AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE DAY IN TEXAS.

2:00pm - 3:55pm

The Symphony of Drums

Four American Indians Drum Groups will share their stories of their Tribal History/Culture/Traditions

Vernon H. “Cy” Ahtone, Emcee
This event is a sensorial experiment to extract the elements of the pow wow tradition but solely focus on the drums to hear the dialect of the singers and the heartbeat of the drum. The emcee will inform you to the history of drums, the beat of the drum, the meanings of songs and the difference in drums to the many and varied tribal nations.

2013 Rebirth Celebration / American Indian Drum Groups
2013 AIHD /Featured Drum

Bear Claws of Dallas,TX

Rough Arrows of Shawnee,OK
Southern Nations of Apache,OK
Young Buffalo Horses from Shawnee, OK

Videos shown all day

Profiles in History

Profiles in History

Continuous showing at the Viewing Room
Voices of the community members that time cannot gap anymore to share history or leave a message to the generations via educational time capsule video recording. AIHD is able to provide an educational tool of the American Indian culture/heritage/traditions without an appointment.

Lone Star Park

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas, in recognition of the many historical, cultural, and social contributions our American Indian communities and leaders have made to this great state of ours.

2013 Rebirth Celebration

Turquoise Sponsors


The Chickasaw Nation
The Division of History and Culture’s main purpose is to preserve our heritage of history, language and culture of the Chickasaw Nation. We offer historical & cultural education classes.

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The Choctaw Nation
Our mission to preserve our cultural value by providing a foundation of knowledge utilizing resource materials, cultural activities and protecting our historical sites for our future.

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Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Lone Star Park is a horse racing track located in Grand Prairie, Texas. Lone Star Park opened in 1997. The track offers separate meets for Thoroughbred racing and Quarter Horse racing.

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The Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce
Make ownership of a successful business a viable option for Chickasaw citizens by providing existing Chickasaw business owners and aspiring Chickasaw entrepreneurs.

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2013 Rebirth Celebration

Gold Sponsors


Memnosyne Foundation
Our mission is to help the diverse people of the world consciously encourage an evolution for themselves and for future generations by providing a peaceful global collaboration.

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Indigenous Institute of the Americas
To promote and share the similarities and differences comprising the traditional cultures of indigenous people of the Americas and disseminating our history prior to and since 1492.

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Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas
is a non-profit American Indian corporation dedicated to improving the health and socioeconomic status of American Indians living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

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The Citizen Potawatomi Nation
A federally-recognized government of the Potawatomi people and exercises governmental jurisdiction in an area bounded by the North Canadian River, the South Canadian River.

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The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribal nation with a government anchored by a Band system, which is comprised of 12 traditional bands and two freedman bands.

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2013 Rebirth Celebration

Amber Sponsors


Clampitt Paper
Clampitt Paper is a family owned and started in 1941 by Max Clampitt and is now run by his youngest son Don Clampitt. Clampitt sells to creative designers and local artists.

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Digisoft Technology
We’re happy to work in conjunction with your in-house IT resources, or function as a dedicated IT department for your business, whichever best fits your needs.

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RedMan I Am
We are a small Native American firm that gives excellent quality personal customer service and have never missed a customers needed deadline. Distributor of custom logo merchandise.

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Blanks Printing
Blanks is committed to helping our clients become more efficient and more successful. We specialize in the management of complex print programs.

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Political, non-profit and grassroots organizations constantly seek to connect to, broaden their support with, and drive consensus among, their constituents.

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Castle Gap Jewelry Co.
Family owned and operated since 1973, we pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and a superior quality of jewelry. Specializing in handcrafted jewelry by Native American artists

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Baylor Family Medical Center
Baylor Family Medicine at Riverside is pleased to provide the families of our community with comprehensive, quality medical care in a comforting environment.

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Explore Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
The DART Travel Agent shows how visitors, shoppers, fun seekers and sports fans can get around by bus, train or a combination of both.

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120 Tribal Representatives / 565 Federally recognized Tribes / 3 Reservations

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Core Committee

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Inaugural Event Planning Committee

Michael Dewey
Constance Hargis
Annette Anderson
Raquel Chapa
Darrell Blackbear
Jason Ortiz
Angel Frazier
Linda Pahchecka-Valdez
Tony Pahchecka-Valdez
Kathy McDonald
Angela Young
Linda Durant
Kristy Willis
Debra Foldoe

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Elders Committee

Peggy S. Larney
Eve Williams
Curtis Williams

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Advisors Committee

Anthony Patricio – Spero Solutions
Marci Garrott – Mountain View College

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Alabama Coushatta Tribe of Texas Committee

Kyle Williams / Former Tribal Chairman of Alabama Coushatta Tribe
Sharon Miller / Public Relations – Alabama Coushatta Tribe

American Indian Heritage Day in Texas

Austin, Texas Liaison

Diane Tigges

This is a launching point for a comprehensive study of American Indian’s history on modern culture.

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Looking Forward to the Future / Welcome to the Next!