Since the owners of our previous venue retired, we have been searching for a wonderful home that can meet the needs of our outdoor event, Santa Fe Days. Several American Indian artists referred us to the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. We met face-to-face in early 2020 before the pandemic with Onsite Director Carrie Reynolds and their Board of Director CEO, David Murdoch.
Carrie immediately showed her enthusiasm for our cause. She began her exciting work at the Museum about three years ago. Carrie also gets to work with an all-new Board of Directors and volunteer group dedicated to the vision for their organization.
Several things sold us on this venue. 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, what we used to call a “go-getter.” She has a dedication to the Cleburne community, and most importantly, she has a special place in her heart for our American Indian culture. Since Carrie was four years old, she spent time with her grandmother in Arizona. Her grandmother worked on a reservation as the liaison between the government and the people. Her grandmother respected her friendships within the Native communities and passed those feelings and relationships onto Carrie. The CEO, David Murdoch, is a wonderful, genuine gentleman who has significantly contributed to Johnson County and Cleburne. His ranch is adjacent to the land where our event will be held. He has served the community on many nonprofit boards and City and County government. He is a wonderful advocate for the land and all that it offers our event.
The most important observation we have had with the Outdoor Museum staff is their trust in us. We have spent several weekends and many, many hours getting to know one another. In addition, they let our volunteers have full overnight access to camp on the land, which 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 did not name this area the Chisholm Trail. The volunteers and staff at the Museum support our efforts to examine our stories for this part of Texas. That includes understanding our Tribal languages for this area of land.
Looking to the future, the IIA plans to keep the community at large informed of their progress. The theme, “We Are All Going Home to Texas,” “Kiwat natsiwadisah natihsis,” (Caddo) will feature mother and son, Jicarilla Apache, Featured Artists, Irene and Damon Neal. Additionally, the event’s focus will honor Texas Native American Indian tribes and those who have laid the foundation for the generations of Native American families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.Would you like to help us too?
- If you are from a Nation that once hunted, traveled, or lived in this area. Please ask your elders or others who speak your language how did they describe or name this area?
Michael Tongkeamha offered a Kiowa description of our location, “Where the prairie 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?
- If you have Oak trees or know where they are plentiful, begin saving the acorns and keeping them in a brown paper bag so they can breathe. Also, if you know which type of oak tree they came from, please label the brown bag and save it for us. We will be honoring the sacred Oak tree and their acorns. Your help will allow us to give each child who attends our event 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
“Santa Fe Days IN THE PARK” is a scheduled event of the Indigenous Institute of the Americas, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization, conducted by the Santa Fe Days Organizing Committee.
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN ARTIST APPLICATION
Artists must be enrolled members or designated Tribal Artisans of a United States or Canadian federally recognized tribe, officially “State” recognized tribe or Alaskan Corporation. Proof of eligibility must be provided as a Certificate of Indian Blood Card (CIB/CDIB), tribal enrollment number and/or Secured Certificate of Indian Status Card (CIS/SCIS). Santa Fe Days in the Park makes every effort to adhere to the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and amendments which regulates Indian produced products. We want patrons to experience the beauty and expertise of traditional and contemporary Native American Indian arts and crafts. We ask all artists to help us achieve this goal by honoring a commitment to uphold the highest level of authenticity and artisanship. Mass produced items made by outside sources cannot be sold at this event.