Nov 7, 2022 - News

Dallas' Native American ties

Two Native American women in traditional garments

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is one of three tribes in Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Dallas-Fort Worth has none of Texas' three federally recognized Native American tribes, though Indigenous peoples once populated this area.

Why it matters: November is National Native American Heritage Month, which the White House recently recognized by acknowledging that Indigenous peoples were treated unfairly and forced to assimilate, decimating their communities.

Zoom in: More than 195,000 North Texans identify as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with other ethnicities, according to the latest U.S. Census figures.

  • That's about 3% of the Dallas-Fort Worth population.

Yes, but: Many of the remaining Native Americans were likely relocated to the region through the American Indian Urban Relocation program, intended to move Indigenous people off tribal lands.

  • More than 10,000 people representing 82 tribes moved to the Dallas area as part of the program from 1957 to 1973, per the DMN.

Zoom out: The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas in Livingston, outside Houston, has about 1,300 members. The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas in Eagle Pass, near the border, has more than 1,000 members.

The intrigue: The federal government once tried to eliminate stickball, an Indigenous successor to lacrosse. The DFW Kabutcha Toli practices weekly in Oak Cliff, per KERA.

Go deeper: Listen to the Axios Today episode on the forced assimilation of Native American children.


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