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American Indian Heritage Day in Texas
Posted Date: 9/16/2013

Grand Prairie, Texas - The first official AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE DAY in TEXAS is Friday, September 27, 2013. A community inaugural celebration of the passage of the HB 174 in creating American Indian Heritage Day (AIHD) in Texas is Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, from 10 am to 5 pm. This inaugural celebration will recognize the many historic, cultural, and social contributions the American Indian communities and leaders have made to Texas.

The inaugural celebration entitled "RE-BIRTH 2013" means the American Indians is no longer the invisible people. It is now the time to share and educate the people of Texas.

It is time to listen / Profile in History will be an ongoing video streaming of American Indians as they reflect on the importance of the AIHD 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. Ms. Bernice Whitefeather is being honored as the last full blood tribal member of the Wichita Tribe.

It is time to hear / Symphony of Drums 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 much other important information. The Northern and Southern style of singing drum groups will be shared with the audience.

Thanks to legislation authored by Texas State Representative Roberto R. Alonzo of Dallas and signed by Governor Rick Perry on May 10, 2013 created American Indian Heritage Day in Texas. "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, & 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. Roberto R. 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 tribal citizens of approximately 120 tribes from throughout the United States, three federally-recognized Indian tribes, one state recognized tribe, eight federally-funded Indian Education programs, one health and social service facility, and an American Indian Chamber of Commerce. In short, this population truly does have a presence in the state of Texas. It does deserve this recognition. The thousands of American Indian tribal members and friends have waited long to finally receive this deeply deserved respect and recognition from the State of Texas.

The American Indian Heritage Day in Texas celebration will be in Lone Star Park's Silks Dining from 10 am to 5 pm. Free Parking, Free Admission and Open to all.

For more information
Peggy S. Larney / Chair - American Indian Heritage Day in Texas