Margo Tamez (Nde konitsaaii, Big Water People, Lipan Apache Band of Texas) is an historian, poet, essayist, traditional knowledge keeper, Indigenous rights defender, and interdisciplinary researcher. She provided expert testimony at the Inter-American Commission on Human/Organization of American States to bring evidence and critical attention to the distinct impacts of the U.S. border wall on Indigenous Peoples along the Texas-Mexico border. Tamez worked collaboratively with faculty and colleagues from the University of Texas School of Law, 2009.
Tamez enacts Indigenous critical poetics as a tool for sustaining historical clarification, truth, memory of violence, and memory of recovery practices. Her research closely examines anti-genocidal practices across nineteen generations of Indigenous women of and from Nde’ Konitsaaii Gokiyaa (Lipan Apache Big Water Peoples’ Country).
Along both sides of the Texas-Mexico border wall, Margo Tamez (third from right) conducts community-based research in El Calaboz with and alongside Nde’ (Lipan Apache) elders, elected leaders, community members, film documentarians, and students from the School of Law–Human Rights Clinic (University of Texas at Austin). The gulag-style wall bifurcates the Nde’ traditional territory for 70+ miles, with extensive effects on Indigenous peoples’ rights to Indigenous place, governance, identity, culture, institutions, knowledge systems, language, biodiversity, and recovery.
Dr. Margo Tamez will be joining the World Water Week celebrations on March 19th, during the Celebratory Water Ceremony.