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Associates in Action

Guided by the charism of redemption
By Teresa Nira, IHM Associate

In my father’s final days before he passed on, I described my vision for the Native Institute for Research and Action to him.

First of all, it would operate through reverence for God’s creation: Earth, water, air, all creatures and humanity.

The mission is this, “The Native Institute for Research and Action, cognizant of the contributions of the Original Peoples to Southwest Texas, is formed for research, promotion, and implementation of the following four endeavors as inspired by indigenous tradition and wisdom:

Archives and Art – music, paintings, history, and writings
Food – organic agriculture and products
Health – natural healing
Housing – sustainable architecture
This is a Public Benefit Corporation for the enhancement of Rural Communities … in Southwest Texas.”

Integral to its mission, the corporation will strive to give voice to people of Indigenous heritage. To help fulfill its goals, I applied for and received an IHM Ministry Grant to provide fresh vegetables and fruits to four families who are working toward improving their health in the areas of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, with an emphasis on using more fresh produce in traditional food dishes.

The very unexpected events of 2020 in the areas of health, race relations, economy, politics and weather highlight the ongoing need for ministry in all facets of society. Having met the IHMs of Monroe at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, in 1977, and joining as an Associate