Performers' Bios

Michael Heralda

Michael HeraldaMichael Heralda is a national touring artist and the presenter of a cultural, educational, musically interactive program titled “Aztec Stories.” Since 1996 he has been sharing his work with interested listeners and participants across the United States. He is also a recording artist with three CDs completed. Through the mediums of music, oral tradition stories, poetry, and narratives Michael shares the culture of the Mexica/Aztecs from an indigenous perspective. He has performed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NY), the Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival (NY), the National Hispanic Culture Center (NM), Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach), the Getty Museum (CA), Autry Heritage Museum (CA), and at over 300 schools across the U.S.

Dr. Mario Garza

Dr. Mario GarzaDr. Mario Garza is an elder of the Miakan/Garzas Band of the Coahuiltecan people indigenous to the Texas and northeastern Mexico area. He has a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. from Michigan State University and he currently researches and presents educational lectures about Native Americans. Dr. Garza has decades of involvement in the Native American community, including repatriation of remains, successful development of indigenous nonprofits, re-establishment of ceremonial sites, Native arts and events, and political issues.

Mark Standing Eagle Baez

Mark Standing Eagle BaezMark Standing Eagle Baez received his B.A. from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and his Masters in Psychology from North Central University in Prescott, Arizona. He is working on his Ph.D. in General Psychology. He and his family live on the Navajo Reservation where he has taught a drum group to local Dine’ school students ranging from high school to elementary. As a Mental Health Counselor, Baez has created several talking circles and awareness groups for the school district of Window Rock. Baez is Mohawk, Pawnee, and Coahuiltecan.

Emma Ortega

Emma OrtegaEmma Ortega is an Apache elder who currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. She performs storytelling, is a visual artist and volunteers for Native American organizations in helping with her fry-bread booth.

Cuicani In Xochitl

Cuicani In XochitlCuicani In Xochitl is based in Oak Cliff at the Ice House Cultural Center. They have been a part of The Office of Cultural Affairs NTP program for the last five years promoting native Mexican cultures: Aztec, Maya, Toltec, Olmec. This group is dedicated to preserving and promoting The Aztec Dance Tradition. They perform extensively throughout Texas and surrounding states.

Aaron Pyle

Aaron PyleAaron Pyle formed Hakloka while attending Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Pyle is a graduate of Texas State, earned his Masters in Social Work at the University of Texas, is a gifted musician and visual artist.

Ramon Juan Vasquez

Juan VasquezRamon Juan Vasquez has been writing poetry for several years began his public performances ten years ago. His readings have resulted in rave revues and have created a following of fans (by kome okiomah). Vasquez is also the long-time executive director of American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions and a member of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation in San Antonio, Texas.

Grupo Pakal

Grupo PakalGrupo Pakal is a small, very talented, Maya Dance Troupe based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. They regularly perform at The Dallas World Aquarium, as well as at other venues around the metroplex, including the Dallas Museum of Art.

Lasaro “Chief” Arriola

Lasaro "Chief" ArriolaLasaro “Chief” Arriola, flute player and story-teller, is of Comanche/Apache descent. Julie Lani, the group’s percussionist, comes from a mixed heritage of Hawaiian, Japanese, Indian, and Irish. Chief and Julie Lani are renowned performers in Texas and have played for functions such as Celebration of the People at Texas State and the Killeen Powwow sponsored by Four Winds Intertribal Society.

Kathy Lynn

Kathy Lynn, a Cherokee Nation member, is a descendant of Pathkiller, Principal Chief before the Trail of Tears. Water Beetle Cherokee Programs is made up of Kathy Lynn who travels throughout the United States, educating and sharing history and stories of her Cherokee heritage. She also contracts with the United States Army for diversity and training about Native Americans. Kathy is also the author of four historical novels about a few of her Cherokee ancestors. Kathy currently resides in Wickenburg, Arizona.

Grupo Pakal


Mayan ballgame

Chief Arriola

Mark Baez

Cuicani In Xochitl