Indigenous Cultures Center
The goal of the Indigenous Cultures Center is to benefit the local communities and attract visitors from all over the country. The Center located in San Marcos will have multi-purpose facilities focused on education and active/passive outdoor recreation.
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. The Coahuiltecans have consistently occupied this area for over 12,000 years. ICI works to preserve the cultures of the Native Americans indigenous to Texas and northern Mexico while maintaining its covenant with sacred sites. 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.
The Institute’s Board of Elders Chair, Dr. Mario Garza says, “Our Indigenous community has received $5 million towards successfully completing this historic $10 million project. The center is very important to the central Texas community and across the State of Texas.”
Garza is referring to the fact that most people in Texas who are labeled Hispanic have Indigenous ancestors who occupied this area when the Spaniards first arrived. The citizens who currently live in the San Marcos area that have been designated the Mexican American and Indigenous Heritage & Cultural District are primarily labeled Hispanic or Mexican American and their families were among the earliest settlers in Hays County. Most of these individuals have Indigenous ancestors and their stories would be among those preserved by the proposed center.
The Institute’s representatives have stated that they initially sought land that was close to the Sacred Springs at the headwaters of the San Marcos River and received support from the City of San Marcos and Texas State University which has identified land near the Meadows Center where ICI has held its annual Sacred Springs Powwow.
The Institute will secure a site and develop a new facility to serve as a hub among a series of shared greenways, open park spaces and the protected waterways of the San Marcos River. ICI representatives stated a desire to be near the Great Springs Trails that will connect Barton Springs in Austin, Sacred Springs in San Marcos, Comal Springs in New Braunfels, and San Pedro Springs in San Antonio. The proximity to the springs and the trails would anchor the Indigenous Cultures Center to a historic land trail and a sacred water site.
The goal of the Indigenous Cultures Center is to benefit the local communities and attract visitors from all over the country. The Center will have multi-purpose facilities focused on education and active/passive outdoor recreation. Learn more about the Indigenous Cultures Institute and programs: indigenouscultures.org