Press Conference: Federal Lawsuit Re-filed and Focused

Press Conference: Federal Lawsuit Re-filed and Focused


What:  TĀP PĪLAM COAHUILTECAN NATION re-files legal action, in Federal court, against Alamo Trust Inc and its executive director, Douglas McDonald and Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, George P. Bush.

Where:  Plaza de Héroes
1410 Guadalupe St, San Antonio, TX 78207

When:  Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 10 AM

Following the dismissal of a Federal lawsuit, [case #5:19-cv-08084], the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation have re-filed their claims in Judge Garcia’s court.  The original lawsuit, that included the City of San Antonio and the Texas Historical Commission was dismissed due to being outside of the realm of litigation in Federal court.

The Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation is seeking judicial assistance in protecting the integrity of decisions made around the Alamo development plan by pursuing legal action, in Federal court, against Douglas McDonald, Alamo Trust Inc, executive director,  and George P. Bush., Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. Federal claims center around equal protection and Tap Pilam’s First Amendment rights.

The Tap Pilam lawsuit claims that leadership of the GLO and Alamo Trust Inc. actively and knowingly violated Federal laws by:

• Not providing lineal descendants access to the Development’s decision-making process regarding human remains, despite protection under federal laws.

• To satisfy NAGPRA-required oversight, since this project is operating “in the spirit of NAGPRA”, GLO leadership has invited Tribal leaders not native to Central Texas with different cultural practices and excluding lineal descendants.  This approach indicates Commissioner Bush regards all Indians as the same regardless of their direct connections to those buried there. And, that having Indians at the table is enough.

• Denying Tap Pilam religious freedoms.  By being forcibly excluded from their relationship to their ancestors, a core function of their traditions,  these acts violate the Tribe’s first amendment rights.

• Douglas McDonald, has denied the Alamo’s designation as a cemetery, despite burial objects being found there since the 30’s that include rosaries, arrowheads, crucifixes and conch shells – items that clearly define the land as a place where both Indian Catholics and early Texans were laid to rest. Human remains continue to be disturbed with no involvement of lineal descendants. The tribal communities participating on behalf of the Alamo Trust carry different practices as Tap Pilam, whose right it is to determine the reburial of their ancestors.

• Tap Pilam believes that underlying racism and ignorance is driving decision making within the Alamo Trust Inc leadership.

• Alamo Trust CEO, Douglas McDonald, has implemented discriminatory, profit-driven strategies based on policy directives of George P. Bush, seeking completion of the renovation at any cost – including desecration of cemeteries at a historic site. Tap Pilam validates that Catholic remains have been allowed to be re-interned ceremonially at other San Antonio missions, where their histories are shared widely. In the case of the Tap Pilam at the Alamo – they’ve been denied “to even exist”.

ABOUT Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation
Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation is a Tribal community of affiliated Bands and Clans of the Payaya, Pacoa, Borrado, Pakawan, Paguame, Papanac, Hierbipiame, Xarame, Pajalat, Tilijae nations, modernly known as Coahuiltecans. Our traditional homeland consists by today’s political boundaries as Texas, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Northern Potosi. We are people of two Countries and have been regarded by both as foreigners in our own homeland. Learn more at