(credit: Trinity River Vision Authority)

(credit: Trinity River Vision Authority)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA) wants to sanctify the future site of the John V. McMillan Plaza and the Major Ripley Allen Arnold Monument. It will host a Native American ground blessing at the confluence of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River, the location of the plaza directly behind TCC Trinity River campus near the original site of the fort.

When complete in 2014, John V. McMillan Plaza will feature a large monument honoring Major Ripley Allen Arnold, founder of Fort Worth.

“We believe that it’s important to honor the Native Americans, who lived here before Major Arnold founded the fort, “ said J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. “This solemn ceremony gives us a chance to bless the ground before we begin construction on the plaza.”

The ground blessing is based on the concept of the Native American medicine wheel or sacred hoop, which is considered a major symbol of peaceful interaction among all living beings on Earth. Eddie Sandoval, an Apache spiritual leader, will perform the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ground blessing, The Sovo Family of Drummers and Dancers: The Lords of the Plains, will present Native American music and dances. The members of this group have toured nationally and internationally, appearing in popular movies (Lonesome Dove) and major publications (National Geographic).

Hundreds of people, including 175 students from Nash Elementary & Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center are expected to attend.

The event will feature Native American music and dance, a replica of the statue of Major Arnold, renderings of the plaza and remarks by community leaders.

The plaza will be a Tarrant Regional Water District facility, managed by the TRVA as a part of Trinity Uptown.

“The Trinity River is why we are here,” said Granger. “As we move forward with Uptown revitalization, it’s important that we embrace Fort Worth’s rich history and show our recognition with a memorial on the banks of the river.”

The Tarrant Regional Water District will construct the plaza with additional support from The Burnett Foundation, Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc., RadioShack and the Tarrant County College District.

The “Ground Blessing” is scheduled for Thursday, June 6 at 10 a.m.

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