LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Today the City Council of Las Cruces approved a resolution supporting the Fort Sill Apache Tribe's return to its New Mexico Homeland and its job creation efforts through the planned casino in Akela, NM.
The City Council voted today for the resolution: "A Resolution Directed to the Governor of the State of New Mexico and the Entire New Mexico Congressional Delegation to Show Support of the Governing Body of the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to the Restoration of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe to a Portion of its New Mexico Homeland with all Rights Natural and Historical Associated to the homeland."
By passing the resolution, the Las Cruces City Council supports the restoration to the Fort Sill Apache of the same rights that other New Mexico tribes and pueblos enjoy. The City Council supports what the tribe chooses to do on its homelands including the right to engage in economic development activity that supports the Tribe and surrounding communities.
"I am pleased that the Las Cruces City Council recognizes our rights as a sovereign nation and supports our return to New Mexico," said Fort Sill Apache Tribal Chairman Jeff Haozous. "As we continue to fight to regain the rights that are naturally and historically ours, the passing of this resolution gives us support from our neighboring community. We look forward to receiving support from the Governor as well."
Today, a 30-acre parcel of land at Akela, New Mexico, 40-miles west of Las Cruces is the extent of the Fort Sill Apache's restored and federally-recognized homeland. Although the Tribe's desire to establish a casino on that site has been withheld, Las Cruces is now in support of the economic benefits the Apache Homelands Casino would bring to the region.
When it's available, a copy of the official resolution will be posted for review on the Fort Sill Apache New Mexico Website.
The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is the successor to the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apache people that lived in Southern New Mexico until 1886, when they were forcibly removed and held by the U.S. Government for 28 years. The Fort Sill Apache are descendants of those people who, upon their release in 1914, remained in Oklahoma and maintained their status as independent Chiricahua Warm Springs Apaches until the Tribe was restored years later as the Fort Sill Apache Tribe. The Tribe has long expressed its desire to return to its legally defined homelands.
For more information and updates on the Tribe, please follow us on Twitter (@FortSillApache) and visit www.fortsillapachenewmexico.com.
Source: City of Las Cruces