Preserving the cultures of Native Americans indigenous to Texas and northern Mexico and maintaining our covenant with sacred sites.

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Our first Indigenous Peoples Day celebration will focus on healing,” says Dr. Mario Garza, chair of the Institute’s board of elders and cultural preservation officer for the Miakan-Garza tribe of the Coahuiltecan people. “We’ll hold two blessing events, one by our Sacred Springs, and the other at our Reburial Grounds.” These words were spoken on October 7, 2018, the first Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in San Marcos, Texas declared by the City Council on September 18th for every second Monday in October, from that day forward.

Every year a blessing is held at 10:00 AM on the cement platform at the edge of the San Marcos River headwaters, located at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, 201 San Marcos Springs Drive. Tribal, ceremonial representatives hold water, fire, earth, and a feather symbolizing air throughout the blessing. Elders are asked to say prayers in their Native languages and ask for healing for all people on Mother Earth. After the blessing medicine people are available for sacred smudging, a traditional offering at indigenous gatherings for individual blessings and healings. Breakfast is provided for everyone at the outdoor setting.

A second blessing is held at 5:30 PM at the Reburial Grounds established by the City of San Marcos on September 6, 2016, as a repatriation site for ancient Native American remains unearthed in Hays County. After a five-year-long process, the Miakan-Garza obtained from Texas State University, the remains of one of their ancestors who was unearthed from an area near the Meadows boat-ride ticket booth. On May 5, 2017, the tribe reburied the remains once the new burial grounds were established by the City of San Marcos. The Reburial Grounds is located at the Spring Lake Preserve Park, 685 Lime Kiln Road. After the blessing at the grave site, participants are invited to walk the park trails that wander over land inhabited by the Miakan-Garza tribe’s ancient ancestors. Members of danza groups will perform their traditional prayer dances after the ceremony.