Native American Culture alive and well in El Paso
October 24, 2012
EL PASO, Texas - Most Native American reservations and lands are located away from major cities and towns to prevent outside cultural influence, however the Tigua Indian lands are located near the city limits of El Paso, Texas, making the preservation of their culture and heritage in the face of constant advances in technology and the passing of generations even more difficult.
Rather than trying to tuck themselves away, the Tigua tribe has embraced their unique situation and decided that the best way to maintain their history is to share it with the people of El Paso and its visitors, such as military personnel and their families. To do this, they built the Tigua Indian Cultural Center and Museum and opened it to the public for free, with additional classes and activities available starting at $8.
"We are always wanting to share our culture," said Bobby Trejo, the assistant to the manager for the cultural center, and member of the Tigua Indian Tribe. "We are proud of our history, and future generations need to see it shared and celebrated to ensure that they keep that same pride themselves."
This sharing mentality has made the center one of the many locations promoted by the Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreational Program, a program dedicated to educating the Fort Bliss community about the events, activities and attractions available in the El Paso area.
Some of the main attractions at the center are the Native American dancing demonstrations held every Saturday and Sunday, Pueblo Bread baking every weekend in authentic adobe ovens, and weekly bead looming classes Wednesday through Sunday.
"As a Native of El Paso, I have visited the center many times," said Bill Ketcherside, Community Liaison for the Fort Bliss FMWR. "I find it a great place to take out-of-town visitors."
Ketcherside added that everyone he takes to the center really enjoyed it and they are always surprised to find an Indian Reservation inside the town of El Paso.
In addition to the center the Tribe also operates other locations such as the popular Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, which regularly offers free concerts on the weekends and is always welcoming military personnel and their families.
"We have quite a few families visiting from Fort Bliss, and we are always welcome to have more," said Trejo who is a member of the tribe through his full-blooded Tigua Indian grandmother. "We enjoying sharing our culture with anyone who wishes to visit us."
Upcoming events, times and prices can be found at the center's Facebook page listed under YDSP Tigua Indian Cultural Center and Museum or by calling at 915-859-7700.