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

Hector Montemayor-Perez

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.


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.


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
Executive Director

Bobbie Garza-Hernandez
Public Relations and Development Consultant to the Executive Director's Office

Ruben Arellano, Ph.D.
History Consultant to the Executive Director

Isabel Mata
Assistant to the Executive Director

Aaron Pyle, M.S.W.
Programs Manager

Laura Benavides
Programs Coordinator

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

Esmeralda Perez
Volunteers Director

Marisa Diaz

Jessica Mejia

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

© 2023 by Indigenous Cultures Institute.