Indigenous Institute of the Americas Celebration (IIAC) 2024
The 17th IIAmericas Celebration is an annual event sponsored by the intertribal nonprofit Indigenous Institute of America. The IIAC event supports our mission to provide relevant and accurate experiences that educate and demystify the many cultures reflecting the original peoples of the Americas. Our activities and philosophy are welcoming to both Native and Non-Native patrons. We see this event as an opportunity to engage the public with our love for the environment, music, dance, food, laughter, and relationships.
Our venue, Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum (CTOM), 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, TX 76033, is 30 miles south of Ft. Worth, Texas. It is located on the sacred buffalo trails of north Texas; the area is known to the Kiowa as “ahn daw gaw been’ “where the prairie meets the big trees. ( Thank you, Michael Tongkeamha, for this teaching).
CTOM is an outdoor venue on 10 acres of land. The venue provides plenty of portable toilets, an indoor toilet with three stalls, and sinks for hand washing.
The Big Bear Museum is on the property, and a new addition may be completed by April. The Big Bear Museum is a separate but cooperative organization with the property. Museum entrance fees are $ for adults and $ for children. The artifacts in the Museum have been directly donated by Native families who have requested the museum care for their items safely.
Also on the property near the food court is the Star Pavilion, where the IIA volunteer headquarters is located. The IIA Seed Ambassador Program educational displays and seminars will be in the Pavilion. An old school house will have Traditional storytelling and workshops throughout the day.
The venue is on the Southwest side of the Lake Pat Cleburne bridge from Cleburne, Texas. Most of the land is Federally protected wetlands. We cherish this sacred area on the beautiful Eastern Cross Timbers ecosystem. It is a bird-watching paradise, home to nesting Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron cranes, and other unique plants and wildlife. We hope our Vendors and Patrons will help us keep this land clean throughout the event.
Everything you find in a big town can be located in Cleburne, Texas—nationally recognized restaurant chains and locally owned yummy choices. We love buying groceries from H-E-B located at 600 W HENDERSON CLEBURNE, TX 76033-4830; they have been a generous sponsor to the Museum and our organization. Other needs you may have for equipment and tools are available at the hardware and ranch supply store and supercenters. If you need a new outfit to wear to the event to match the jewelry you design, this is our volunteer’s favorite place to drop in. Our favorite women’s boutique is Christi’s.https://www.facebook.com/shopchristis/ 1663 W Henderson St Cleburne, TX 76033
On the Monday after our event (April 8), the Universe decided to bring a total solar eclipse to Cleburne, TX. The impact on our powwow and cultural event will be positive. People across the Nation have reserved hotel rooms in anticipation of the eclipse, and our event is one of the only fun opportunities before the eclipse. Our attendance could easily double or triple. Hotels are filling up fast!
Cleburne Chamber of Commerce has a list of hotels. If Cleburne hotels are full, there are many towns within a 30-minute drive of our venue. If you drive in from Oklahoma City, west Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, you can find hotels in Cresson, Burleson, Godley, and Glenrose. If you come from east Texas and eastern Oklahoma, consider Keene, Joshua, Alvarado, Midlothian, or Mansfield, Texas. The Cleburne Chamber of Commerce has a list of hotels.
Please let the hotels you pick know you are coming for this event. It’s an excellent way to help us spread the news.
State Park Camping and Day Passes for Showers:
The Cleburne State Park is up the road. If you are camping at our Museum or staying in an RV. You can purchase a day pass for showers one month before the event. The cost is $6 per day.
Our venue also has plenty of camping available for a reasonable charge of $25 per tent. You must register for camping on the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum property so we know who is staying at night—email Carrie Reynolds at email@example.com to register for camping.
Because of the eclipse, the Museum is also inviting people to stay until Monday for the eclipse. Artist vendors may also stay and do vending through Monday. Many of our volunteers remain on site the whole weekend to save money and gas.
The Museum gates will be open, and the sheriff’s department and other security groups will drive through the camp to check on us. It is beautiful at night, with twinkle lights everywhere.
Creative places to stay:
North Texas Jelly Stone Park Cabins, Glamping Teepees, RV and Tent
IIAC is known for its variety of activities and attractions. We bring the public a different view of our many cultures. Our event reflects the diversity of our Nations. Some of our guest performers have said they have traveled the powwow trail, been all over the country, and have never seen so many creative fun happenings at this event.
We aren’t just a powwow; we aren’t just an art market. We have it all: food, arts, crafts, songs, seminars, displays, games, powwows, demonstrations, archery, stickball, and children’s activities. Our organization tries to stay focused on authentic and accurate representations of culture. For example, our powwow MC explains what is happening on the grounds, i.e., an educational powwow. Our displays have handouts to take home and share with others. Children attending the event will have a wonderful time learning about sunflower seeds and their importance in our culture through the Seed Ambassador Program.
Young people are included in our leadership roles. We want to help the next generation feel comfortable planning events and learning cultural protocols. We hope you will bring your children too. We know it’s hard to leave the children and grandchildren at home. This is a safe but true outdoor venue; everyone is encouraged to dress appropriately and wear sturdy tennis or hiking shoes.
Our volunteers do their best to make everyone of all ages and all cultures feel welcome. We want the patrons to stay all day and leave our event with a joyful experience. We hope you share this information with your friends and organizations. Feel free to advertise other organizations and markets you may be attending. We like our patrons to get “hooked” on our art and culture.
Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum
101 Chisholm Trail
Cleburne, TX 76033
Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm
IIAmericas Celebration – is a scheduled event of the Indigenous Institute of the Americas, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization in Texas.