Exodus

 

   
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Headquartered in Camp Verde, Arizona, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, a federally recognized Indian Nation, proudly proclaims success in surviving the removal of their people from their ancestral homelands in 1875 and their subsequent return beginning in the early 1900’s.

On February 27, 1875, the United States Army, acting on an Executive Order from the President, transferred an estimated 1,500 Wipukyipai (Yavapai) and Dil zhę̨̨́é (Apache) people from the Rio Verde Indian Reservation 180 miles away to the Indian Agency at San Carlos, Arizona. 

Rather than use the wagon roads that could be used to transport the sick and elderly, along with supplies, the Yavapai and Apache people were forced to march, under duress, through winter flooded rivers, mountainous terrain and harsh weather.  The arduous journey resulted in hundreds of lives lost, as the people were swept downriver or suffered illnesses from the harsh conditions.

The forced removal of the indigenous people also resulted in the loss of several thousand acres of treaty lands promised to the Yavapai and Apache by the United States government.

Return  

 

 
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When released from internment, 25 years after being forcibly removed from their homelands, approximately 200 Yavapai and Apache returned to the Verde Valley under the assumption that the land they had been promised remained theirs.  What they found upon their return was that their land was taken over by Anglo settlers and that there was no longer a place reserved for the Yavapai and Apache people.

Despite the many hostilities they faced, the Yavapai and Apache remained within their homelands until 1909 when a reservation was re-established.  Although comprised of two distinct tribes, the Yavapai and Apache shared a common history and a common community which bound them together.

In 1934, following the Indian Reorganization Act, the Yavapai and Apache people were officially recognized as a sovereign people and became known as the Yavapai-Apache Tribe. 

The Yavapai-Apache people voted in 1992, to revise their original constitution reflecting a new identity, the Yavapai-Apache Nation.  This act reflected the merging of the two distinct tribes as one Nation. 

Today

 

   
 
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With poverty rife within the Nation, the Yavapai-Apache people opted to open a gaming facility in 1995.  Cliff Castle Casino provided much needed revenue to the Yavapai-Apache Nation, allowing the tribal government to provide enhanced services to its members. 

Today, members receive enhanced services that include:

 

  • Medical – Dental, Eye, Nutrition, Physician Services, Wellness
  • Social Services – Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, Child Protective Services, Elder Advocacy, Emergency Assistance
  • Judicial – Police Department, Tribal Court - Family Health Court, Adult Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Probation Department
  • Youth Services – Recreation Program, Fitness Programs
  • Education – Scholarship Program, Tutor, Clothing Allowance
  • Housing – Low Income Tax Credit, 184 Loans, Tribal Rentals

 

While partially funded by gaming revenue, the enhanced services are a result of forward thinking business acumen by former and current tribal administrations. 

Beyond Cliff Castle Casino, the Yavapai-Apache Nation owns and operates Yavapai-Apache Sand and Rock, Distant Drums RV Park, Yavapai-Apache Construction and Whitehills Mobile Convenience Store.

With one of the most diverse economic markets in the Verde Valley, the Nation provides employment and other economic benefits to the surrounding communities on a daily basis.  In addition, the Nation supports many organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Toys for Tots, the local schools, and much more.

Exodus Commemoration

 

 
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“Each year in February, the Nation the Yavapai and Apache People’s forced removal and successful return to the Verde Valley, hosting a day long event that includes a spiritual blessing at sunrise, a commemorative walk/run, traditional dancing, and food.” 

"The Nation welcomes everyone to join them at the annual Exodus Commemoration in February when they will commemorate those who were forcefully removed from their homelands and celebrate the successful return of the Yavapai and Apache People to the Verde Valley. For more information on the Yavapai-Apache Nation Exodus Commemoration, contact editor@yan-tribe.org."

 

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