NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Caddo Indians were the first to establish Nacogdoches as early as 1250 AD, so a historian from the city is wanting to do something special to create awareness about the tribe's significance to the oldest town in Texas.
The ultimate goal is to open a Caddo Embassy.
The Caddos created Nacogdoches, so noted by Domingo Ramon when he established a Nacogdoches mission in 1716, according to historic architect Charles Phillips.
"His diary says, 'arrived Pueblo Nacogdoches,'" Phillips said. "So there was already a town here. The Caddo had a town of Nacogdoches."
Yet Phillips is disturbed the Caddo aren't formally recognized. Instead there are mannequins in poorly lit museum glass cases and one remaining Caddo burial mound that tourists visit.
"So we're going around checking out history," said Patty Johnson, a tourist.
Phillips says there is no official Caddo presence in all of Texas. The closest embassy is Oklahoma.
"So I think Nacogdoches would be the appropriate location for an embassy for the Caddo Nation," Phillips said.
The Caddo Conference will be in Nacogdoches in the spring, the same year Nacogdoches celebrates its Tricentennial. Phillips wants to roll out the red carpet in hopes that Caddo dignitaries will conduct a full Caddo celebration.
"Typically a Caddo celebration runs from sunset to sunrise with dancing and feasting," Phillips said.
East Texans with a unique heritage are asked to sign the invitation.
"We hope that any Native American living in the area or anyone with Native American ancestry will sign the invitation," Phillips said.
Phillips laughed about the idea that every family claiming to have an Indian princess grandmother will come forward. He knows historically such ancestry was hidden in shame.
The Caddo invitation is being signed this evening at a special reception for Native Americans. After tonight, a signature page will be at the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau for a period of two weeks.