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The Karankawa were said to be extinct. Now they’re reviving their culture — and fighting to protect their ancestors’ land.

Historians long thought the Karankawa people had disappeared. But now a group of descendants is fighting to protect a coastal area — where thousands of Karankawa artifacts were found — from an encroaching oil export facility.

Love Sanchez, of the Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend, participates in a prayer ceremony at McGee Beach in Corpus Christi in protest of the expansion of the Moda Ingleside Energy Center on Aug. 28, 2021.
Moda Ingleside Energy Center in Ingleside.
Chiara Sunshine Beaumont at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin on Sept. 18, 2021. Chiara held a cleansing ceremony at the park in late August 2021.

Artifacts threatened by encroaching development 

Images of artifacts found during an early archeological survey of McGloin's Bluff on the northeast point of Corpus Christi Bay are shown from a 1963 issue of the Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological Society. James Corbin conducted the survey, noting significant evidence of the Karankawa people.
Images of artifacts found during an early archeological survey of McGloin's Bluff on the northeast point of Corpus Christi Bay are shown from a 1963 issue of the Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological Society. James Corbin conducted the survey, noting significant evidence of the Karankawa people.
Patrick Nye shows his collection of Karankawa artifacts at his home in Ingleside. His home is located less than one mile from the Moda Ingleside Energy Center. Aug. 28, 2021.
Patrick Nye owns a collection of Karankawa artifacts at his home in Ingleside. His home is located less than one mile from the Moda Ingleside Energy Center. Aug. 28, 2021.
Wally Flores, of the Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend, participates in a prayer ceremony at McGee Beach in Corpus Christi in protest of the expansion of the Moda Ingleside Energy Center on Aug. 28, 2021.

The myth of “annihilation” 

The Indigenous People of the Coastal Bend gather at McGee Beach in Corpus Christi to protest the expansion of the Moda Ingleside Energy Center.

Reclaiming Karankawa history 

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