INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
“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.”
The first blessing will be held on the cement platform at the edge of the San Marcos River headwaters, located at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Garza will be joined with ceremonial representatives who will hold water, fire, earth, and a feather symbolizing air. During the blessing elders will be asked to say prayers in their Native languages and ask for healing for all people on Mother Earth. After the blessing medicine people will be available for sacred smudging, a traditional offering at indigenous gatherings for individual blessings and healings. Breakfast will be provided for everyone at the outdoor setting.
The second blessing will be held 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 in 2011. 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 will be invited to walk the park trails that wander over land inhabited by the Miakan-Garza tribe’s ancient ancestors.