The Indigenous Cultures Institute was founded in 2006 by members of the Miakan/Garza Band, one of the over two-hundred bands that resided in Texas and northeastern Mexico when the Spaniards first arrived.
The 83rd Legislature recognized the Miakan-Garza Band as a Texas Indian tribe with "immeasurable contributions to the State of Texas". Members of the Miakan-Garza Band still practice their traditional ceremonies and maintain long held family ties.
Video: Thank you to Jameson Dunn and
COAHUILTECANS : A documentary by Jameson Dunn and Hector Montemayor-Perez about a Texas tribe finding their place in modern history.
Four generations of the Miakan-Garza Band, representing fifteen major families, attended the State recognition ceremony at the State Capitol on May 16, 2013.
MARIO GARZA, PH.D.
Dr. Mario Garza currently serves as board of elder’s chair and is the principal founder of the Institute. He is the Cultural Preservation Officer of the Miakan-Garza Band. He earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Social Science, with areas of concentration in Sociology, Political Science and Social Work. He has been active in graves protection and repatriation since 1991 participating in reburial ceremonies at
the Comanche Cemetery in Fort Hood, Texas including two Coahuiltecan reburials. Dr. Garza served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the 1/616th Medical Clearing Company, 44th Medical Brigade, U. S. Army. He currently lives in San Marcos, Texas near the sacred springs that archeologists believe to be the oldest, continuously inhabited site in North America.
BOARD OF ELDERS
Dr. Mario Garza - Chair
Valdemar Garza - Vice Chair
María F. Rocha – Secretary
Javier Garza - Treasurer
Francisco Garza - Board Member
Gilbert Garza - Board Member
Griselda Mata - Board Member
Benjamin Rocha - Board Member
Roxanne Schroeder-Arce - Board Member
María F. Rocha
Public Relations and Development Consultant to the Executive Director's Office
Ruben Arellano, Ph.D.
History Consultant to the Executive Director
Assistant to the Executive Director
Aaron Pyle, M.S.W.
Mario Garza, Ph.D.
Language Program Director
Lydia CdeBaca, Ph.D.
Nakum Journal Managing Editor
Pablo Montes, M.A.
Youth Programs Director
Sacred Sites Programs Director
Director of Public Relations & Marketing