Mayor Turner Celebrates Native American Heritage Month By Announcing the Launch of the Virtual Southern Plains Museum and Cultural Center in Houston

November 18, 2020 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner  announced today the launch of The Southern Plains Museum and Cultural Center  (SPMCC). The SPMCC is the first virtual Native American Indian museum and  cultural center in Houston.

The Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs awarded a $10,000 City of Houston  initiative grant to the project.

"Earlier this year, City Council voted to recognize the second Monday in  October as Indigenous  Peoples' Day. Houstonians can now celebrate Native American  Heritage Month by learning about indigenous histories through the Southern  Plains Museum and Cultural Center," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.  "With the coronavirus pandemic still spreading in our community, this  virtual experience will allow families to learn about Indigenous Peoples from  the comfort and safety of their own home."

According to the 2010  Census, Houston and its surrounding area have about 68,000 Native Americans  from all Nations. Founder, curator, and president of the Southern Apache Museum  Chance L. Landry (Lipan Apache) opened the museum's doors in 2012 to educate  the general public. During its lifetime, the Southern Apache Museum became a  community and cultural center and resided at the Northwest Mall until it closed  its doors in 2017.

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The virtual cultural center includes a Southern Apache Museum, American Indian  Genocide Museum, Library, Garden, Health Clinic, and Powwow Arena. Nations such  as the Alabama Coushatta, Choctaw, Comanche, Cherokee, Lipan Apache, Navajo,  Ponca, Tunica Biloxi, Muskogee Creek, and Aztec are represented. Visitors can  learn about indigenous nations through renderings of art, artifacts, and videos  of public ceremonies as they traverse a virtual space.

Ms. Landry hopes that this virtual space will shape the future of a physical  indigenous cultural center in Houston.

"Mayor Sylvester Turner will go down in history as the Mayor who finally  recognized the Indigenous community in Houston, and the Native American Indian  community will always remain grateful for the recognition," said Chance  Landry, founder of the Southern Apache Museum. "Our Mayor will lead us out  of the shadows into the scope of visibility in this great city of ours."

Ms. Landry worked with INVI  LLC, a Virtual Architecture firm established in March of 2020 that has been  recognized for creating the renowned #ArtforJustice Virtual Museum. "We  are very honored for the opportunity to participate in this amazing  project," said Giangtien Nguyen and Afreen Ali, co-founders of INVI.  "We have learned so much about the stories and history of Native Americans  since working with Chance Landry and the Native American community. We hope  that through the virtual platform, their voices can reach many people  globally."

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The public may access the virtual cultural center by visiting  You can learn more about the Southern Apache Museum at

Filed Under: Government, City

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