Texas Normal College professor and students in 1891

Monday, Oct. 12, 2020

Dear UNT students,

Today, our UNT community is celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, which is an important opportunity for us to recognize and honor America's indigenous populations.

As part of our commitment to be a more inclusive campus, our university is partnering with the UNT Native American Student Association and other groups for a permanent land acknowledgement art installation that would include a designated space and plaque. The project is meant to engage our UNT community with the factual and honorable histories and present-day contributions of Native American and Indigenous peoples of North Texas.

Indigenous people have played an important part in our 130-year history — going all the way back to 1890 when 28 members of the Muscogee Creek Nation were enrolled as students. Three Muscogee Creek members are included in the picture above, recently donated to UNT Libraries' Special Collections by the family of J.V. McReynolds (marked as No. 14). The photo from our founding year as Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute includes J.H. Alexander (2), S.W. LaFavor (3) and J.A. McKinney (8).

We are proud of our long history of recognizing and having indigenous peoples represented in our community, and I look forward to the addition of a permanent land acknowledgement installation on campus.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President