Fort Sill Apache Tribe

Mailing Address

Route 2, Box 121
Apache, OK 73507

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe's history can be traced back in 1885. It was in 1885 that the Chiricacua Apaches also known as "The Tribe" or the "Chiricahua" used to live in the Western Apache Reservation. The tribe did not originate from this place, but was forced to relocate due to the pressures of the government. Those who did not agree to relocate were considered hostiles and were treated unfairly by the government. The Reservation that was given to them, however, was not an ideal place to be in as it is covered by several issues and intruders who were waiting to take charge. The rumors of arrest in 1885 urged almost one hundred thirty Indians to move out of the reservation but when the truth was finally out, the Indians found it hard to return to the reservation as they were pursued by the United States Military. The military, likewise, found it hard to oppress the Indians. However, on the 27th of March in 1886, several tribesmen were convinced to surrender and it was then that a group of 37 Indians including men, women and children returned to Mexico. The group was led by Naiche, Geronimo and Mangas. Their fears turned to reality when the government refused to honor the surrender contract between these tribes and the administration. 
During the periods 1871 up to 1875, the reservations were established in Arizona and in New Mexico. The problem occurred when the government attempted to cease the Chiricahua Apaches from their aboriginal homelands and were asked to resettle in the San Carlos Reservation. The tribe did not want to leave their homelands and fought for it. However, they lost the battle in September 4, 1886 when their leader, Geronimo decided to surrender to the United States. He, together with three hundred eighty one Chiricahua Apaches was then transported to Fort Marion and Fort Pickens in Florida as prisoners. In the area, they reunited with the other members who were previously caught. Their group was then moved to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama where they stayed until September of 1894. Severe hardships followed, including the weather adjustments. In an attempt to restore the tribe's original success, they were transferred to the Fort Sill Military Reservation. 
The transfer was also the start of the progress for these Indians. They started regaining economic development. The seventies decade spelled more Federal programs for the welfare of the Indians. The tribe worked hard to seek recognition and years later, they began their first contact with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for their Tribal Government Development Program signed on July 18, 1975. The following year in October, they adopted their constitution and Bylaws were ratified. Today, the 601 members of the tribe are currently engaged in the Fort Still Apache Casino, farming and ranching businesses.

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