The Lipan Apache Tribe Community Page

In Honor and Remembrance of…
Trusted Friend, Blood Sister and Tribal Historian of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas,
Nancy McGown Minor,
who will be forever known as,
“Heh-Hee-Fteh-Heh-Nah-Heh-Tu”, “Smiling Rain”,
“Lluvia Sonriente”
     Smiling Rain now stands in the “Land of Forever Summer” amidst those she came to know through her tireless and devoted work, amidst those whom she searched and those who came to her. Together they will join in good talk and she will tell them of their sons and daughters that continue to walk their path in beauty. She will tell them of how far the N’de have come and the Grandfathers will be proud of their sons and daughters. She will tell them of how the N’de have maintained themselves with honor, with integrity, never forgetting who they truly were and they will know that the Blood is back, that the Blood has returned to the lands and is still alive within Us today. They will know the N’de are ALIVE, tenfold stronger and still HERE!

     Smiling Rain showed us who we were and for those of us who lost everything due to living in another’s culture, in another’s ways for so long, she brought it back to us. She was always there to guide our footsteps back to the N’de working tirelessly to help us connect back to that which was taken from so many of us and was once rightfully ours…our Lipan heritage. She fanned the flame so the burning within us would continue until our minds, bodies and souls were joined as One, helping us to emerge into our true selves. She helped us to understand ourselves, bringing logic to so many unanswered questions and feelings we couldn’t understand. So much was locked within us, so many feelings and things we did not know where they were coming from; why we felt the way we did. She shed light and logic on all of that guiding our true selves out of the darkness by re-connecting us to our roots. For this and for so much more the N’de will be forever grateful to our Blood sister, Smiling Rain.

     In the past so many took from us, our lives, our ways, our language and our lands but Smiling Rain was on a mission, she loved the Lipan and through her tireless, selfless efforts…she tried to bring it all back. Perhaps history will be re-written “as it should’ve been,” (words spoken by Smiling Rain) and the N’de will be acknowledged as a fully fledged Texas Tribe…but only the passing of the seasons will tell. But through Creator’s gift of Smiling Rain on the N’de there are now books that tell our story and shed light on who we were and are today… a People no longer considered “extinct.” Despite the sadness and injustices of the past, we are a Blessed tribe. We are the only free-roaming Apache in the U.S. We still know no borders or limitations. We are free to come and go. Like Chairman Barcena pointed out. “Our people went through the Fire and came out Refined.” Smiling Rain insured that others would know about the N’de through the books that she wrote, Chevato, Turning Adversity to Advantage and The Light Gray People. Because of Smiling Rain, the Grandfathers and the Blood spoke loud until it was heard and the very State that once turned against the N’de now recognizes Us as a People. We must not tire in our walk or allow the flame to die within Us or among Us because our beloved Smiling Rain is now shining in the heavens and not physically with us. There is still much that needs to be done. Because of Smiling Rain we can hold our heads up high. We no longer have to hide or walk in another’s shadow. We can be proud of who we are for we have taken the adversity of the past and transformed it to our advantage. Due to assimilation, we have learned to seize opportunities that only belonged to others, like education, good jobs and a better living for our children all the while keeping that burn inside of us and we will continue to do so in honor and remembrance of Smiling Rain. We will continue to honor her and keep her alive in our daily walk and know at the end of each day, as her name implies, that she will be smiling down on us with that twinkle in her eye, Showering us with Blessings like the soft summer rain reassuring us that everything is alright and she will be keeping watch over us. United and Strong! The N’de will continue to keep the flame burning so others will find their way to Us and through many moons and many suns, through many summers and winters that come…the N’de will continue to walk in beauty. We are the N’de! and We are still Here! and the Spirit of the N’de will Prevail! Rest now dear sister in the Land of Forever Summer. Your vision for the N’de will continue… through us, our children, and our grand-children for generations to come. You will be remembered and honored in our songs, our dances, and our daily walks. The Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas thanks you for your loving heart, your beautiful soul, your tireless dedication and devotion to the N’de. Rest now and be at Peace.
--R.A. Monday      

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Lipan Apache Tribe
P.O. Box 5218
McAllen, Texas 78502