Indigenous Texas

What is now known as the state of Texas in the United States has been populated by different indigenous people for centuries, including the Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa and Wichita nations.

Prior to European colonization, Texas served as a meeting and trading location for numerous Indigenous tribes across North and Central America. Additionally, due to forced removal from their homelands, Indigenous tribes from the eastern coast where placed in Texas, which included Choctaw, Chickasaw, Alabama-Coushatta and Creek nations.

The imposed border between Texas and Mexico creates a barrier for a number of Indigenous tribes who have family members residing in both Texas and Mexico. Currently in Texas, there are three federally recognized and two state recognized Native American tribes. The federally recognized tribes include the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, and the state recognized tribes include the Lipan Apache Tribe and the Texas Band of Yaqui Indians.

A federally recognized tribe is a Native American or Alaskan Native tribal entity that is recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

In addition, federally recognized tribes are acknowledged to possess certain inherent rights of self-governance and tribal sovereignty as well as the right to receive certain federal benefits, services, and protections because of their special relationship with the U.S.  At present, there are over 567 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. State recognized tribes are Native American tribes that are only recognized by individual states, not the federal government, which means they are not eligible to receive benefits under federal law. There are currently over 62 state recognized tribes in the U.S.

Land Acknowledgement

What is a Land Acknowledgment?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. 

Why do we recognize the land?
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol (source).

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