Fort Worth

Native American Business Owner Serves up Culture and Education in the Stockyards

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In the Fort Worth Stockyards, there is a grill serving a taste of Native American culture.

"I'm Choctaw Indian,” Hooker’s Grill owner Ruth Hooker said. “I'm part of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma."

That's why Ruth Hooker proudly serves up a traditional Native American dish at Hooker's Grill.

Vince Sims
Hooker's Grill located on West Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards

"We have the Indian Taco which is a Native American taco which is based with Native American fry bread,” Hooker said. “It's the base of the taco."

She has a location inside Dave's Stove Shop in Hudson Oaks and her original location in the Stockyards.

Vince Sims
Hooker's Grill menu board

"We tell them this taco is a fork and knife taco and it's a Native American staple,” Hooker said. “Then you get to open up the dialogue about our different cultures."

She shares about the culture with customers. She also takes the time to share her Native American ties to American history.

Her great grandfather was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for serving as a Code Talker.

“The very original Code Talkers were in World War I and that was my great grandfather,” Hooker said. “He was one of the very first, of the very first group, and so for me, an Indian Taco opens up that part of the conversation to talk about our American history."

Ruth shares proudly about Native Americans through her family history and through the simple details in the mural on the Stockyards location. She pointed out a small red bird in the artwork.

Vince Sims
Mural on the wall of Hooker's Grill

"Maybe someone that passed they are coming to visit you,” Hooker said. “There's also an old Choctaw tale about red birds leading two lovers together."

Now Hooker has something else added to her conversations surrounding her Stockyards location.

A recent film shoot for the Yellowstone series left her with an old western-looking façade in front of her grill.

"The 1883 prequel will talk about Texas in 1883 which also did have a heavy Native American presence," Hooker said.

Ruth says all of that she does is about exposure and educating people about Native Americans.

"I honor my family by doing this,” Hooker said. “I honor my faith and I hope to honor my culture just by having simple everyday conversations." Since Hooker is keeping the movie set at the Stockyards, that location is temporarily closed for construction. She plans to reopen by the time the show is released in mid-December.

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