Fort Sill Apaches fight to reclaim roots in New Mexico

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Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:00 pm | Updated: 7:15 pm, Mon May 19, 2014.

They were proud warriors who became American prisoners of war, men and women herded from their homeland in the Southwest by the U.S. government and then held in distant outposts.

Geronimo was the best-known of these Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apaches. They lived in northern Mexico and what are now New Mexico and Arizona until 1886, when the brute force of cavalry soldiers pushed out the last of them.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • David Romero posted at 6:29 pm on Thu, Apr 17, 2014.

    bigd1973 Posts: 96

    Martinez is denying them because they " Just want to open a casino here?" So they want to make some money. Isn't that the American way?

  • Elizabeth Patterson posted at 6:26 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    sundance35 Posts: 2

    The Haozous family and my family share a great great grandfather. I pray the Ft. Sill Apaches finally get their homeland back.

  • Gary Cascio posted at 8:06 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    garycascio Posts: 22

    “The federal government has not recognized Fort Sill as a New Mexico tribe, finding that they lack any government structure or population base in New Mexico.”

    A remark stunning for its ignorance of facts and history. And why do you think they "lack" any government structure or population base in New Mexico?

    Perhaps your definition of "a New Mexico tribe" needs to be revised to include those native born populations forcibly removed from their traditional homeland by an invading force?

  • Mel Hayes posted at 3:51 pm on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Hobson Posts: 117

    Apparently the Fort Sill Apaches haven't donated to Susana's campaign, you have to know how to play the game...........

  • Joe Savoldi posted at 12:54 pm on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    joesavoldi Posts: 20

    Why don't they just become Americans and become plumbers, electricians, engineers etc., and skip the free lunch. Roots is an excuse.
    And btw, they didn't end up in OK for being good guys. Read some history.
    As for casinos, why in the world are they limited to tribes? Let any American who wants to open one do so.

  • Staci Benni posted at 10:57 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    The Ft Sill Apaches are descendants of Chiricahuas who mostly resided in SW NM, SE AZ and northern Sonora, Mexico. In 1913, the Apaches at Ft Sill were given three choices: stay in OK and get an allotment of land; go to a reservation in AZ or go to Mescalero with their cousins. Two-thirds went to Mescalero so Ft Sill Apaches have a presence here--at Mescalero. Also I guess the Ft Sill Apache tribe forgot that the Mescaleros pursued their land claims with the US government starting in 1946 and reached a settlement on those claims. Now a century later the Ft Sill Apaches don't like the land in OK or more likely it is not tribal so they cannot open a casino there. Sounds like an opportunistic attempt to open yet another gaming casino in the state.

  • Jake Arnold posted at 10:46 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    jakechileverde Posts: 11

    Shame on you, Susana Martinez. Does your soul not whisper faintly to you to let these people return?

    Does not even one small ember of compassion smolder within you?

    Apparently not--your heart must be cold as ice, Susana Martinez.

    Was it the “real” governor, Jay McCleskey, who put you up to this? Do you and he not see that the specious arguments you offer are inherently racist?

    How can you be so insensitive to people seeking to reclaim a few acres of their traditional homeland, a small fraction of the land from which their grandparents were forcibly removed in the final stages in a long campaign of intentional genocide against Native Americans?

    It is fitting and just that we should repair those wrongs, in some small way, by recognizing the legitimate status of these Apaches, historically New Mexican people.

    But instead, you turn them away and dispatch your hired-gun lawyers—modern-day pony soldiers—to perpetuate those injustices.

    You are a cruel woman, Susana Martinez.

  • Thomas Carlson posted at 7:27 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Thomas Carlson Posts: 56

    This land is no one’s land.
    This land is your burying ground
    I wonder why you’re fighting
    Over this land.
    God made this land and everything on it.
    Man against man, they’re fighting
    Over this land.

    John Lee Hooker

  • Steve Salazar posted at 7:12 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 875

    A lovely article, but the point is still this, they want to be players in the casino craze.


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