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Lipan Cemetery in Presidio County

Texas Historical Foundation Director R.J. Collins will host a presentation of the organization’s April 2022 grant to the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas on November 18th. The grant was awarded to fund the fabrication and installation of interpretive signage at Cementerio del Barrio de los Lipanes, part of the Tribe’s multifaceted effort to preserve the site and educate the public on its history and significance. 

The only burial ground in the region that is tribally owned and open to the public, the cemetery is the final resting place for the Lipan Apache who settled in the Presidio area beginning in the 1790s. For close to a century, the cemetery's burial mound lay undisturbed until residential development began to encroach in the 1970s. Houses were built on all sides of the burial mound, likely even atop outlying graves. 

Despite the efforts of decedents and community volunteers, as well as the legal protections offered by the site’s 2014 designation as a State Antiquities Landmark, the cemetery continued to suffer damaging erosion as well as vandalism and theft as surrounding development expanded. 

The Tribe’s solution is to erect a Gabion Wall, a retaining wall of stones surrounding the cemetery. Working with architect and studio:indigenous founder Chris T. Cornelius and the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, the project incorporates the landscape of the Rio Grande Valley and Indigenous construction. It will offer protection from threats natural and manmade while serving the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas’ mission of preserving the cemetery as a place to promote education on the region’s Indigenous history and culture. 

Grant Presentation
Friday, November 18, 2022
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Nuevo Santander Art Gallery, 717 N. Main Street, McAllen, TX 78501 

For more information on the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas, visit their website. To learn how to support the project at Cementerio del Barrio de los Lipanes, click here.