Jicarilla Apache Nation

Mailing Address

Dulce, NM

Contact Information





Cultural History

The Jicarilla Apache Nation is said to have been part of another larger group of the Athapaskan speaking lineage. The Athapaskan speaking lineage is linguistically in the Na-Dene family. These people are also supposed to be the ones who crossed the Bering Straits from Asia which was over ten thousand years ago. Because of this, the Athapaskans spread out across the areas located in Western Canada and the United States. They were grouped into several smaller bundles and since then have adapted different ecosystems which they encountered and survived.
One of the groups that emerged from the Athapaskan is now more popularly known as the Jicarilla Apaches. These people were the ones who inhabited the areas around the Plattes and Arkansas River Valleys of Colorado. The exact measurement of the tribal territory is not known very well, but the tribe is said to have been settled in the area since the early twelfth century up to the thirteenth century. It was in the year 1541 when the Spanish Conquistadors of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's exploration first had their contact with the Jicarilla Apaches in the area in Colorado. The Spaniards then put up records of their encounter to the tribe referring to them as "Apache". The tribe had cultivated the best quality corn, melon and beans that the Spaniards were instantly hooked on the territory. The tribe was known to have had secret techniques in farming as taught by their ancestors. The tribe has mastered the cultivation of the land no matter what season they were in. The Jicarilla Apache's knowledge is a simple yet concrete proof of their settlement in the area for such a long period of time.
Despite the contact with the Spaniards, the Jicarilla Apache Nation remained undaunted and indomitable of the influences that they brought along with them. The Spaniards surprisingly did not even make their presence noticeable and they just let the Jicarilla Apache Nation to live on their own. However, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 almost changed the lives of the Jicarilla Apaches. Even if they did not join the revolt, the tribe served as the refuge area for the other tribes who were caught in the revolution. 
It was in the early eighteenth century when the tribe first encountered the Europeans. During this time, the Anglo Americans started residing in the Platte and the Arkansas River Valleys where the community of the Jicarilla Apaches were bountiful.
In the year 1887, in compliance with an Executive Order, a part of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation was created. The remaining members of the tribe then moved onto another new reservation where they started a new life. The members began raising livestock as well as trading with the other White settlers. They also started sending their children to boarding schools to acquire better education and mix with the society.
They are currently one of the most successful Native American Tribes when it comes to enterprises. They have gas products as well as other major investments in the field of livestock and agriculture.

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