Grapevine's new Peace Circle has 11 bronze statues featuring Sam Houston, Native American chiefs

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Derek Ross, representing the Wichita and affiliated tribes, stands in front of the statues. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

Derek Ross, representing the Wichita and affiliated tribes, stands in front of the statues. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The Peace Circle was unveiled on Sept. 18 by members of the City Council and representatives of Native American tribes. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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A Comanche drum performance opened and closed the dedication ceremony. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Eddie Sandoval of the Apache Nation performed traditional cleansing rituals popular in Native American cultures prior to ceremonies. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Rita Johnson Ness of the Anadarko nation is a direct descendant of Anadarko Chief Jose Maria, who is represented with one of the 11 statues in the Peace Circle. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Jennifer Wilson of the Caddo Nation gives Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate a Pendleton blanket that symbolizes respect, friendship and gratitude. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Grapevine Council Member Leon Leal gives Jennifer Ross of the Caddo Nation a peace medal. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Local Grapevine artist Linda Lewis was commissioned for the public art installation. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Long before the Republic of Texas settled in what is now Grapevine, various Native American tribes lived off the land for many years. Then in 1843, in what was known as Grape Vine Prairie, 10 Native American chiefs and captains met with Republic of Texas President Sam Houston in the spirit of peace, friendship, hope and trust. This meeting would eventually lead to the signing of the Treaty of Bird's Fort.

To commemorate this historical event, the city of Grapevine unveiled a new public art installation on Sept. 18 in front of Grapevine Main Station called the Peace Circle. The 11 bronze statues feature Sam Houston and Native American chiefs from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee nations.

"Today these men have gathered again on the Grape Vine Prairie at a time when we need them now more than ever, to cause us to reflect and learn about leadership and peace and friendship," Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Paul W. McCallum said. "Today they are not gathered in living human bodies with all its frailties. They have gathered in this circle of bronze to further withstand the test of time. Today we will meet them and their people, and we will reaffirm our commitment to peace and friendship."

In attendance were representatives of each tribe depicted in the art installation as well as direct descendants of some of the chiefs.

Rita Johnson Ness of the Anadarko nation recently found through genealogy work that she is a direct descendant of Anadarko Chief Jose Maria when she was asked to attend the ceremony. She said this was "one of the highlights of my life."


"[Maria] led the exodus from [Texas] to Oklahoma. And many people were lost on the way. But also there were many happy moments," Ness told Community Impact Newspaper. "They're just often depicted as such somber people, but they were just joyful people, and they wanted peace ... And so that's what this means to me today, and to have been asked to do this is like the culmination of all my work, and it's beautiful."

The larger-than-life statues were created by local artist Linda Lewis who researched along with the Peace Circle Advisory Committee to ensure a historically accurate depiction of each chief.

"As long as [the representatives] were happy and once I realized they were happy, then everything's good because that's for them," Lewis said.

The public art installation can be viewed at 815 S. Main St., Grapevine.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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