The Onsite Director, Carrie Reynolds and Board of Director CEO, David Murdoch were the first people our organization met at the Outdoor Museum. Carrie immediately showed her enthusiasm for our cause. Carrie has worked 24/7 to help us make our IIAmericas event welcoming for our American Indian and Indigenous supporters and our community guests.
Several things sold us on this location. Our first consideration involved the people in charge of the venue and their acceptance of our culture. In our conversations with Carrie, we learned she is a retired World Championship Barrel racer. She is one of 200 women inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She is a true “go-getter.” She has a dedication to the Cleburne community and a special place in her heart for our American Indian culture. Since Carrie was four years old, she spent time with her grandmother, Phyllis Haag Leriche at the Gila River Indian Community and Apache Nation in Arizona. Her grandmother worked as the liaison between the government and the people. Her grandmother respected her friendships within the Native communities and tried her best to promote the rights of the Native people she represented and definitely passed those feelings and relationships onto Carrie.
The CEO, David Murdoch, is a wonderful, genuine gentleman. He has significantly contributed to Johnson County and Cleburne on nonprofit boards, as well as City and County governments. His ranch is adjacent to the land where our event will be held. Mr. Murdoch is a wonderful advocate for the land and all that it offers our event.
Another observation about the Outdoor Museum staff is their trust in us. We have spent several weekends and many, many hours getting to know one another. The Museum has invited our volunteers have full overnight access to camp on the land before we decided to have our event there. That campout gave us time to talk and think about all the possibilities for expansion, volunteer support, and visibility in the future.
We know that our Native people had many different names for this area before it was named, the Chisholm Trail. The volunteers and staff at the Museum support our efforts to examine our own stories and narratives for this part of Texas. That includes understanding our Tribal languages for this area of land. T
“We Are All Going Home to Texas,” “Kiwat natsiwadisah natihsis,” (Caddo) is how we feel being on this land. We will be giving honor and recognition to the history and current lives of American Indian and Indigenous peoples who originally protected the land now know as Texas. Many of our volunteers are descendants of the Indian relocation program in the 1960’s Dallas/Ft. Worth area. They have laid the foundation for future generations of Native American families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
Let us hear from you if your Nation once hunted, traveled, or lived in the Cleburne area. Come tell your stories at our Annual event. Free booth space is available for American Indian groups, help us educate and be visible. Ask your elders, what did they call this area of Texas where the buffalo wintered and where they had their trails?
Michael Tongkeamha offered a Kiowa description of our location, “Where the plains met the big trees.” ahn daw gaw beeh’. Gregory G. Gomez, Mescalero, and Lipan Apache described it as “where the trees met the rivers and where the buffalo graze in the winter.” Can you help us find and learn as many names as possible? We will be honoring the Sacred Oak tree and their acorns. Each child who attends our event will pick an acorn to learn about and take home. If your Nation has unique recipes, stories, songs, or ceremonies related to the Oak and Acorn, please share with us so we can teach our children this history throughout the year.
We want our children who come to this event to have an authentic, fun learning experience, and you can be part of that happening!
Please let us know if you have more questions,
IIA Organizing Committee
Annette Anderson – Chair
For Immediate Release
Indigenous Institute of the Americas
IIAmericas Celebration – “Santa Fe Days” is a scheduled event of the Indigenous Institute of the Americas, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization, conducted by the
IIAmericas Organizing Committee