Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation bless EcoCentro with tobacco and song

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Group sponsors screening of “Run to the East” May 20.

By Travis Doyle

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Ramon Vasquez, executive director of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, blessed the EcoExchangeEdu, a environmental sustainability showcase, at EcoCentro April 17.

Vasquez and two other members of the Native Youth Group of Voices of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Indians South Texas opened the event with two songs.

“Our people believe in activism in the community to work on sustainability and keeping the Earth safe and prosperous,” Vasquez said.

The group passed around a bag of tobacco, which is highly respected in their culture to bond people and groups.

Each guest took a pinch and placed it on a set of drums in the middle of the room where the group played two songs — one acknowledging their creator and the second a warrior’s song acknowledging Leonard Peltier, a native American activist who was imprisoned in 1976.

The American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions is a nonprofit organization established by the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation.

The organization works for the preservation and protection of the culture and traditions of the Native American tribes and other indigenous people who resided in the Spanish colonial missions, according to the group’s website at aitscm.org.

The group is also one of the sponsors for the 10th annual film screening, where the film “Run to the East” will be shown 7-9 p.m. May 20 in the Sam Riklin Auditorium at UTSA Downtown at 501 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

The organization is also one of the sponsors for the 15th annual Father’s Day Fiesta event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 20 at the San Antonio Housing Authority pavilion AT 818 S. Flores.

Vasquez also works with the San Antonio Fatherhood Campaign in American Indians In Texas At The Spanish Colonial Mission initiative.

“My idea is to try to help our youth to identify where they truly come from,” Vasquez said. “Our role in the community is to help others identify who they truly are and where they truly come from.”

For more information about the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, visit www.aitscm.org.

For more information on the San Antonio Fatherhood Campaign, visit www.safatherhood.com.

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