An historic first gathering of tribes with deep connections to the area will be held in Del Rio Friday and Saturday.
“This event is an historical rejoining of native indigenous people and native American Indians healing of tribes. We are presenting an historical rebirth and connection to our beginnings,” said Thomi Perryman, founder of the Warren Perryman Foundation for Native American Research, Ndé, one of the event’s organizers and hosts.
Perryman, whose heritage includes Seminole, Lipan Apache and Creek, said the event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the famed Seminole Negro Indian Scouts in Aug. 16, 1870.
Other hosts include the city of Del Rio, William “Dub” Warrior, of the United Warrior Band of the Seminole Nation/John Horse Band; the General Council Chairman Daniel Castro Romero Jr., Lipan Apache Band of Texas; and Barbara Finley, president of the Black Indians United Legal Defense and Educational Fund of Enid, Okla.
“This is the 150-year commemoration of international indigenous and native American Indian tribes gathering to honor the famous and interred Seminole Negro Indian Scouts who once served in the United States Army in Fort Clark Springs in Brackettville, Fort Concho in San Angelo, Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass, Fort McKavett and Fort Davis, to name just a few. It also honors their descendants, our veterans and the Negro Mascogos of El Nacimiento, Coah., Mexico,” Perryman said.
The event begins Friday with “school day lectures” for Del Rio schoolchildren at the Del Rio Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“These are lectures for children in grade six and up focusing on recounting our history. I don’t think the average person here in Del Rio knows this history,” Perryman said.
Saturday’s activities will begin with the introduction and unveiling of the band flag of the United Warrior Band of the Seminole Nation/John Horse Band with a “smoking” purification ceremony early in the morning.
From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the civic center will be the site of a series of lectures by experts from Mexico and the U.S. on various aspects of Seminole Nation history.
Area museums, including the Whitehead Memorial Museum, the Carver School Museum, the Fort Duncan Museum, Fort McKavett Museum and the Apache Museum, will also have exhibits on Seminole history set up inside the civic center.
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd is scheduled to address the group at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano and Brackettville Mayor Andres Rodriguez are also slated to speak.
The keynote speaker will be former Oklahoma Sen. Anastasia A. Pittman of Oklahoma, former vice-chair of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators and International Peace Ambassadors.
“Senator Pittman will also be representing the Black Seminoles of Oklahoma,” Perryman said.
Also scheduled to participate in the events are the Aztecs, who will offer a blessing ceremony, and a group of Maya from Chiapas state in Mexico.