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San Antonio City Council Designates October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day

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Yanaguana, a Payaya Indian Village on the San Antonio River, was created after a blue panther chased a water bird out of a blue hole creating life. This mosaic sculpture represents that story at the Hemisfair Park Yanaguana Garden. - BRYAN RINDFUSS
  • Bryan Rindfuss
  • Yanaguana, a Payaya Indian Village on the San Antonio River, was created after a blue panther chased a water bird out of a blue hole creating life. This mosaic sculpture represents that story at the Hemisfair Park Yanaguana Garden.

San Antonio joined Bexar County today in designating October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day.

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, who recently returned from a trip to Arequipa, Peru, said she was pleased with the recognition. Viagran was in Peru for the "XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities to discuss heritage management and urban resilience with other UNESCO World Heritage cities."

She called the move appropriate, as November is Native American Heritage Month.

“Our indigenous heritage plays a vital role in the history of our global City. The contributions and resources are recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. This heritage contributes to San Antonio’s outstanding universal value which tells the story of the Americas,” Viagran says in a press release.

The vote is an about face from the many previous attempts that the Texas Indigenous Council has made to gain the designation.

World Heritage status for the San Antonio Missions was pivotal in convincing both City Council and the Bexar County Commissioners Court to make the move, as recognizing, honoring and preserving Native American history was an important part of obtaining the designation.

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