About Indian Reservations in Texas
- The history of Indian reservations in the United States dates back to 1786. Sometimes it was done by treaty, where the Indians ceded the land to the government, but it was also done by force. In most cases, the reservations were on the worst land, land that was hard to farm and raise a family on. Now reservations are thriving communities, and the tribes have established businesses, many catering to the tourist trade.
- Today there are three recognized Indian reservations in Texas. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the oldest Indian reservation in Texas in Livingston; the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas in Eagle Pass; and the Tigua Tribe of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso, which is the only pueblo in Texas. Each tribe originated in a different part of the country and came to Texas under different circumstances.
- The Indian reservations in Texas play an important part in the lifestyle and the economy. The residents are citizens of the United States, and the reservations are self-governing communities, with their own police forces and laws. They are also some of the major tourist attractions in the state. The reservations come under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior.
- The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is over 3,000 acres and is the center of tribal government, containing mostly housing for the members. The tribe also owns a cattle ranch and land that adds up to another 3,000 acres. They operate the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, which has two restaurants, smoke shops and a wellness center.
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas reservation is on the Rio Grande River, right by the Mexican boarder. It is about 119 acres and houses about 420 people. The tribe owns close to 1,000 acres of land off the reservation. They operate the Lucky Eagle Casino, the only casino in Texas.
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas reservation has a 26-acre lake with campgrounds open to the public. The reservation totals 4,600 acres in all, and there are about 500 residents.
- The Indian reservations in Texas are the cultural centers for members of the tribe. They offer housing, schooling, medical care and employment. They allow the tribes to keep the members close, to keep their traditions alive and to educate the general public about the true history of the Indians in America.