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State Recognition of The Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas

      Representatives, members, and supporters of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas entered and assembled at 8:00 am. At 9:30 am, they were escorted to the gallery of the Texas House of Representatives. The House came to session at 10:00 am. At approximately 10:26 am, House of Representative HR 812 bill, recognizing the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas, was introduced by Representative Todd Hunter, Republican State Representative from District 32. Bill HR 812 is a resolution to acknowledge the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas as a recognized Native American tribe. The 150 to 200 Lipan Apache and supporters gathered in the gallery cheered.

      Representative Hunter escorted the tribe’s representatives to the Senate where they came under the chair of Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Democratic State Senator from District 20. Members of the tribe assembled in the upper gallery. On the floor, Senator Hinojosa recognized and introduced to the Senate representatives of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas Chairman Bernard F. Barcena, Vice-Chairman Robert Soto, Treasurer Juan Soliz, Clerk of the Nation Alma Cruz, and Tribal Administrator William Larew. Senator Hinojosa introduced State Senate Resolution 438 at 11:15 am. The senate unanimously adopted Resolution 438 to the thunderous applause from those present. Each and every senator shook hands with the tribe’s representatives. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst also congratulated the tribe’s representatives and the gathered tribe on the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas recognition.

      Immediately following, the tribe assembled in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate in song and dance. The South Texas Indian Dancers along with the Huisache Creek Singers led by Ruben Soto sang an Honor song in honor of our veterans and our ancestors who desired to see this day, but died never seeing this unforgettable day. Following the honor song, three victory songs were performed by the South Texas Indian Dancers and other members of the Lipan Apache Tribe. Special thanks to Teresa Velasquez and her family who came to represent the Chickasaw tribe and also joined the celebration in dance. Afterwards, the group moved to the exterior of the building on the east side where Robert Soto performed a hoop dance in gratitude and thanksgiving for the special occasion.

      Chairman Barcena and William Larew presented to Representative Hunter, Senator Hinojosa, and Bobby Gonzalez a special tribal proclamation and gifts of tobacco and sage provided by Tom Castillo, Homeland Administrator of the Tribe. The proclamation was well received by the honored guests.

      In the House of Representatives, thanks to Chief of Staff Bech Bruun and Administrative Assistant Caleb McGee who were helpful in working with Senator Hinojosa’s office to pass the resolution in the middle of a very busy session. In the State Senator’s office, thanks to Legislative Aide Carlos Gutierrez, and Legislative Assistant Oscar Garza. Thank you to Judge Bobby Gonzalez who has been working hard the last year and a half to see this day come to pass. Special thanks to Our Tribe's Clan mothers and Our Elders.

      We ask people present at the proceedings to email stories describing their feelings on this historic event. Please email any contributions to Sandra Mendoza at contact@lipanapache.org.

      Videos, pictures, and stories from those present will soon be posted.








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Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas
P.O. Box 5218
McAllen, Texas 78502
contact@lipanapache.org