The Indigenous Cultures Speakers Bureau provides lectures and presentations. Topics include little known historical and cultural information about the Coahuiltecan people and general education about Native Americans in Texas. We offer lectures for college and community audiences, and presentations are available for schools.
Our presentations inspire a new awareness and deep appreciation for the past and present-day contributions of Native Americans. Please contact us to inquire about the speakers’ fees and to schedule one or more of the following lectures or presentations.
Legacy of The Noble Savage
Presented by Dr. Mario Garza
Dr. Garza presents a macro view of Native Americans and explains why commonly held misconceptions create negative social, political and cultural consequences for everyone. From the homogenous concept of “Indians” to Native spirituality, Garza shares a new framework for understanding and appreciating today’s Native American communities.
“Gente De Razón” – Our Indigenous Heritage
Presented by Dr. Mario Garza
Garza explores the myth that most Mexican Americans are a mixed race of Native American and Spanish-European origin. Based on research from Spanish archives, recent DNA findings, and numerous scientific studies, this lecture brings together an entirely new view of the indigenous identity of Mexican Americans.
Dr. 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.
North Meets South: Native American Healing Practices
Presented by Mark Standing Eagle Baez
A comparison of the healing ceremonies and rituals used by northern Native Americans to the curanderismo practiced by southern Indigenous People.
Contact: Mark Standing Eagle Baez at (210) 606-1710, PO Box 1548, Ft. Defiance, AZ 86504
Mark 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. He is author of "Significant Partnerships With Native American Students, Parents, and Schools: A Sweetgrass Method" (full article, click here). 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.
The Xinachtli Project
Presented by Carlos Aceves, M.Ed.
Coahuiltecan, author and teacher from El Paso, Texas, Aceves presents his work in using Indigenous concepts in the elementary school classroom, which has significantly enhanced the learning abilities of “at-risk” students. This unique and successful Indigenous teaching method is based on historical information and oral traditions that Aceves has researched over the past fifteen years.
Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012 — A Manual of Aztec and Maya Wisdom
Presented by Carlos Aceves, M.Ed.
Aceves introduces indigenous concepts that he presents in his book “Nine Seasons” which support the theory that everyone can live to be 105 years old.
Carlos Aceves is an educator with over fifteen years experience in early childhood education. His Masters in Educational Psychology is from the University of Texas at El Paso. The Xinachtli Project is featured as a chapter in the newly published book: Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom: Critical Education Approaches, edited by Virginia Lea. The text, published internationally by Peter Lang Publishers, is a primer for educators and political activist struggling for de-colonization in public education. The Xinachtli Project is sponsored by Kalpulli Tlalteca and has been active in the El Paso area since 1990 and for the past 13 years at Canutillo Elementary School.
International Declaration of Indigenous Rights
Presented by Cemelli de Aztlan Mexica, from El Paso, Texas
The struggles and history leading to the recent adoption by the United Nations of the International Declaration of Indigenous Rights, as a necessary compliment to the International Declaration of Human Rights, and the political and legal implications for Texas Indians.
Cemelli de Aztlan was raised in El Paso, Texas, deeply immersed in the ancient traditions of her Mexica ancestors. Currently she is an intern at the North American Indian Center of Boston as well as a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School where she studies the religious dimensions of the Meso-American traditions and the impact Christianity has had on indigenous religions both in the Americas and the world. Through her studies she hopes to mend the disconnect that has torn indigenous people from their land, culture and spirituality through advocacy work on the borderlands.
Atomic Theory and Aztec Dance
Presented by Ricardo Arreazola and Cristina Salazar
A dynamic presentation of empirical data, Aztec philosophy, symbols and dance, that delivers a new way of looking at the world through ancient, indigenous eyes. Arreazola and Salazar demonstrate Aztec dance and explain the symbolism of their movements, alternating with Arreazola’s lecture on the philosophy of “Teotl” delivered through a stunning PowerPoint presentation.
Ricardo Arreazola and Cristina Salazar are the founders of Cuicani In Xochitl, an Aztec dance group that works to preserve and promote Mexican native culture. They teach Mesoamerican traditions sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs in the Dallas school area. Both are active practitioners of indigenous spirituality; and as such they dance and play ancient percussion instruments as part of their training.
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Presented by Kathy Lynn
This PowerPoint presentation begins with the 1750 Cherokee Nation and covers the history and events of pre-Indian Removal. Beautiful pictures and music accompanies Kathy as she tells about day to day life and the pain and turmoil involved in the removal of the Cherokee by the U.S. government in 1838.
Cherokee Culture, Artifacts and Traditional Stories
Presented by Kathy Lynn and Joe Copeland
This PowerPoint presentation covers a brief history of the Cherokee before Joe "shows and tells" about the numerous artifacts and culture items that they bring along. Kathy then tells traditional stories that delight all ages.
“What Do I Say" about Native Americans?
Presented by Kathy Lynn
There are plenty of "good" books - i.e. well-written, exciting, from respected authors, much-loved by their readers, with well-developed characters - that are terrible when examined with the criteria of whether the Native Americans depicted in them are accurately or even humanly portrayed. This program is a valuable resource for anyone that is writing about, describing, teaching, selecting textbooks, or designing exhibits and public programs that incorporate Native American people. Kathy uses humor and involves the audience in a "no preaching, just teaching" manner that guarantees a lasting impression.
“I” is Not for Indian
Presented by Kathy Lynn
For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians are...the least understood and the most misunderstood Americans of us all. (John F. Kennedy, 1963) Native Americans exist in the present day, and this program will dispel myths and misconceptions created by television, movies, history books, novels, and the educational system. As businesses continue growing and hiring a high percentage of Native American workers, the cultural diversity influences impact employee production, teamwork participation and leadership styles. Attendees gain a comprehensive knowledge of Native American personal belief systems, lifestyles, learning processes and affects on work habits. Attendees learn how to work within, manage and supervise a culturally diverse workforce. Presentation Summary: Native American History Overview, Definition of Cultural Awareness, Cultural Stereotypes, Working within a Multicultural Staff and Conflict Resolution.
Kathy Lynn, a Cherokee Nation member, is a descendant of Pathkiller, Principal Chief before the Trail of Tears. Joe Copeland is of verified Cherokee descent. Water Beetle Cherokee Programs is made up of Kathy Lynn and Joe Copeland. They travel throughout the United States, educating and sharing history and stories of their Cherokee heritage. They also contract 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 and Joe currently reside in Ingram, Texas. Contact: www.anniesbook.com
White Shaman Panel:
A never before revealed and historically significant body of work about the creation story of the Coahuiltecan people and their relationship to an ancient spiritual ceremony that has survived for thousands of years.
Dr. Mario Garza and Gary Perez reveal their research and study of the White Shaman Panel, a 4,000 year-old rock art painting located near Comstock, Texas. For the past several years, Dr. Garza and Perez have steadily made progress on deciphering the symbols and figures painted on the rock shelter.
Together with scientists and Institute associates who support this work, they have gleaned and confirmed sufficient information to describe an initial narrative about the White Shaman panel and to begin sharing their knowledge with the general public.
In this lecture, Perez details how Geographic Information Systems technology is used to interpret the panel as it relates to the Coahuiltecans' sacred sites: the geographic elements that coincide with the ceremonial round that was followed by the Coahuiltecan people 4,000 years ago, and the symbols that describe their creation story.
Dr. Mario Garza follows Perez' presentation with an explanation of the current Native American Church ceremony and how it evolved from the Coahuiltecan cosmology, pointing out how the White Shaman panel documents the origin of the ceremony as well as the creation story of these Native Americans.
Audiences will hear rare and thought provoking information about an ancient people who have left behind a road map of their journey from the underworld to their spiritual and corporal survival on Mother Earth. This lecture is an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the abiding spiritual faith that has sustained a group of people whose core belief is to follow the natural way and remain in balance with Mother Earth and the cosmos.
Contact Indigenous Cultures Institute to schedule this inspiring and unique presentation. (512) 393-3310 or email through our Contact Page.
A four-cities tour of this lecture is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is scheduled as follows:
August 17 - El Paso, TX
Café Mayapan, 2000 Texas
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
August 31 - San Marcos, TX
Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos
211 Lee Street, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
September 22 - Austin, TX
Emma S. Barrientos M.A.C.C.
600 River Street, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
September 28 - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio College, VAC 120
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
October 5 - All day, five lectures at the Sacred Springs Powwow in San Marcos, TX
Additional sponsors include Austin Friends of Folk Art, Café Mayapan, Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio College, and the San Marcos Arts Commission.