ALTO, Texas (KTRE) - For the first time and on the three-month anniversary since the devastating tornadoes hit in Alto, Caddo tribal members traveled from Oklahoma this weekend to visit the historical site and participated in several workshops.
Three months ago, Caddo Nation tribal member Alaina Tahlate was dancing inside of the museum at Caddo Mounds when the devastating tornado hit.
“I was with the other Caddo dancers around the drum when the lights flickered off and the backup lights popped on and everybody just laughed it off. We’re from Oklahoma and we are used to severe weather, we kept on dancing, then our ears popped, everybody knew what that meant, and we had long enough to hit the floor," said Tahlate.
Tahlate returned to Alto for the first time to participate in a teacher workshop at Alto Elementary School in efforts to move forward and continue the Caddo Mounds education programs.
Which she said was emotional.
“All that’s left is a concrete slab on the ground and a little covering of what used to be the patio and it was really emotional to see the results and it kind of brought it full circle to know that we are alive and that’s such a blessing. A lot of Caddos have reflected that they feel like our ancestors were watching over us because of those mounds," said Tahlate.
Joe Cross wasn’t in Alto when the tornado hit. His two sisters were there, and his brother helped build the grass house that was destroyed.
“Just a couple a years before that I had brought my father’s pipe into that grass house, so I felt like my brother, my father and myself was in there," said Cross.
Caddo tribal members spent the weekend sharing stories from the tornado and discussing ways on how they plan to move forward.
Which Cross said was therapeutic for himself and others.
“Being in the circle here today has made me realize and from people saying that even though that happened it wasn’t the ending. Now we can now all be in the circle and think of this as the beginning," said Cross.
Caddo tribal members discussed rebuilding the museum and have shirts for sale for $25 to help raise money towards the recovery process.
You may contact Caddo Mounds Historic Site at 936-858-3218.