The Yavapai and the Apache people inhabited the Verde Valley before European contact. Shortly after they surrendered to Gen. George Crook and the U.S. Army they were uprooted and forced marched 180-mile in the winter of 1975 to the San Carlos Reservation. Around 1900, following 25 years of exile, both tribes were allowed to wander home. This desolate time in the Nation’s history is remembered each February with the 1875 Removal-1900 Return Commemoration, also known as Exodus.
Today, the Nation is a federally recognized sovereign Indian Nation, comprised of descendents of the Wipukyipai (Yavapai) and Dil zhee’ (Tonto Apache) people. In 1934, the two tribes established a constitutional government creating the Yavapai-Apache Tribe. In 1992, they changed the name to the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
Now, the reservation spans over four tribal communities including Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Middle Verde and Rimrock and encompasses more than 1,600 acres throughout the Verde Valley.
In 1995, the Nation opened its first Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde. In 1999 they expanded into a second, much-larger (114,000 square feet) facility high on a hilltop just off Interstate 17 at Exit 289.
Today, the Yavapai-Apache Nation is one of the largest employers in the Verde Valley.
Commerce endeavors support more than 30 tribal departments, a health care center, a cultural preservation center, and have raised the standard of living.Address/Phone Number: 2400 W. Datsi Drive, Camp Verde AZ 86322; (928) 567-1004; www.yavapai-apache.org
Governing Board: Nine-member Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Council; Chairman David Kwail