The Indigenous Cultures Institute was founded in 2006 by members of the Miakan/Garza Band, one of the over six-hundred bands that resided in Texas and northeastern Mexico when the Spaniards first arrived.
The 83rd Legislature recognized the Miakan-Garza Band as a Texas Indian tribe with “immeasurable contributions to the State of Texas”. Members of the Miakan-Garza Band still practice their traditional ceremonies and maintain long held family ties.
Four generations of the Miakan-Garza Band, representing fifteen major families, attended the State recognition ceremony at the State Capitol on May 16, 2013.
Dr. Mario Garza currently serves as board of elder’s chair and is the principal founder of the Institute. He is the Cultural Preservation Officer of the Miakan-Garza Band. He earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Social Science, with areas of concentration in Sociology, Political Science and Social Work. He has been active in graves protection and repatriation since 1991 participating in reburial ceremonies at the Comanche Cemetery in Fort Hood, Texas including two Coahuiltecan reburials. Dr. Garza served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the 1/616th Medical Clearing Company, 44th Medical Brigade, U. S. Army. He currently lives in San Marcos, Texas near the sacred springs that archeologists believe to be the oldest, continuously inhabited site in North America.
José Dominguez-Leal Bobbie Garza-Hernandez Emily Aguilar, M.F.A.
Administration Pīlam Community Pīlam Culture + Communications Pīlam
Aaron Pyle, Ph.D. Diana Guizado
Finances Pīlam Programs Pīlam
Marial Quezada, M.A.
Education Programs Director
Coahuiltecan Language Program – Jessica L. Sánchez Flores, M.A., Coordinator
Indigenous Arts Summer Encounter
Tānko Institute: Xinachtli Pedagogy for Educators
Xinachtli Project, Carlos Aceves, M.Ed., Coordinator
Pablo Montes, Ph.D.
Nakum Journal Managing Editor
Ruben A. Arellano, Ph.D. & Kurly Tlapoyawa
Repatriation Program Coordinators
Javier Garza, Sr. & Aaron Pyle, Ph.D.
Sacred Springs Powwow Co-coordinators
Ruben A. Arellano, Ph.D.
Marketing & Digital Media Consultant