Lipan Apache Tribe|
Who We Are
The Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas is the continuation of the historical Lipan Apache Tribe that has called the
Southern Great Plains, Mapimi Basin in Northern Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico coast home for many
centuries. Our tribe has always functioned as a confederation of different bands of Plains Apaches living
independently yet allied with each other for mutual aid and the common defense of our homeland. The
confederation held together until pressure from northern plains tribes and the Spanish empire peaked and the
leader of the confederacy at that time, Strong Arm Lipan, died in battle in the early-1800s. After that point, the
bands fought for survival by allying with neighboring tribes like the Mescalero, Tonkawa, and Kiowa, and by
settling into enclaves intertwined with the changing social-economic landscape surrounding them. Some of the
bands, like the Sun Otters, established successful niches for themselves and even took in refugees from other less
fortunate bands in an enclave in San Antonio that in the early-1900s was known as Indian Town, which evolved
from an old Lipan camp at the junction of Apache and Alazan Creeks in what today is known as the West Side. The
Little Breech Cloth and Tall Grass Bands also survived as distinct historical communities in different regions in
Texas, the former in the Southern Rio Grande Valley and the latter in the Big Bend Region.
Today the Lipan Apache Tribe is made up of these three bands. The other bands of the old confederacy broke up
into remnants that either fused with the surviving bands or were forcibly removed to reservations in New Mexico
Over the course of our history after contact with European governments, we have entered into formal treaties
with Spain, Mexico, Republic of Texas, and the United States. More recently, we were officially recognized by
the State of Texas' Senate and House of Representatives in March 2009. We have been accepted as
members of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) as a state-recognized tribe under court-of-claims.
Today our tribe is led by a chairman and tribal council representing each of the three surviving bands. The top
priorities of the Tribal Council are promoting of Lipan Apache culture and legacy, fostering unity among the bands,
strengthening liaisons with the nine surviving Apache Tribes, and winning acknowledgement of our tribe by the US
Government. As members of NCAI, we will actively support the mission of this important intertribal political
organization to (1) protect and enhance treaty and sovereign rights; (2) secure our traditional laws, cultures, and
ways of life for our descendants; (3) promote a common understanding of the rightful place of tribes in the family
of American governments; and (4) improve the quality of life for Native communities and peoples.
Learn more about Lipan Apache leaders in the past:
Strong Arm, Cuelgas de Castro, Flacco, Poca Ropa, Yulcha Pocarropa, Pascual, Magoosh, and Costalites.