Miakan-Garza Band recognized by Texas Legislature
San Marcos nonprofit Indigenous Cultures Institute was recently honored by the 83rd Legislature with House and Senate resolutions listing numerous important contributions to the children and community of Texas.
At the House of Representatives chambers, Representative Elliott Naishtat recognized the Miakan-Garza family of San Marcos and San Antonio — the Institute’s founders — as a Texas Indian tribe, and introduced four generations of the Miakan-Garza Band who were present to receive the resolution.
“Countless Texans appreciate your organization’s vital role in promoting and preserving the traditions of Native Americans who are indigenous to Texas and North Mexico,” stated a letter from Senator Judith Zaffirini who sponsored the Senate resolution recognizing the Miakan-Garza Band.
San Marcos resident, Dr. Mario Garza, is the principal founder of the Institute and a direct descendent of Zaragosa Garza, a Cacique of the Mier Band of the Garza Tribe. The family moved to Texas and eventually founded the San Marcos based nonprofit.
Through the Institute, they have provided numerous free cultural programs for elementary and high school students, including a summer camp, to make children aware of their rich indigenous history and culture.
“We want our Hispanic children to realize that they have a vital and vibrant indigenous heritage,” says Dr. Mario Garza who is currently the Institute’s board of directors chair. “We want them to develop self esteem and be proud of their Native American roots.”
Through the Institute, the Miakan-Garza Band also publishes “Nakum”, an online, peer-reviewed academic journal, and has established a printing press for indigenous writers — “Nakum Press”. They have also initiated an “Ancestral Legacy Project” that helps indigenous-Hispanic families to start their own Native American family rolls and document their Native heritage. The Miakan-Garza Band sponsors an annual Sacred Springs Powwow in San Marcos, on the first Saturday of October.