CAMP VERDE - The Yavapai-Apache Nation participated in the Apache Alliance May 8-11 at Hon-Dah Casino on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
The Summit brought together Apache Tribal Leaders to discuss a variety of issues including cultural heritage, repatriation of historical artifacts, common issues Apache tribes currently face and to form the Apache Alliance.
On May 10, Yavapai-Apache Nation Chairman David Kwail joined the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Fort Sill Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribes, Tonto Apache Tribe, and San Carlos Apache Tribe in signing the historic Apache Alliance that has re-energized the unity and cohesiveness of Apache Tribes reflecting the original 1973 Alliance document.
The Nation's Apache Culture Director and former Chairman Vincent Randall said, "Apache tribes have a commonality that is deep-rooted. It goes beyond language. We share language, culture and history, but as our communities have progressed, Apache tribes share similar challenges socially and economically. The Apache Alliance gives Apache people a strong and united voice in regards to lobbying issues, but having the cohesiveness of the Alliance makes Apache tribes in a stronger position to make progress economically and share resources."
In 2011, the San Carlos Apache Tribe hosted the inaugural Apache Summit, which brought together Apache leaders and provided the opportunity for Tribal Leaders to mutually discuss common issues that tribes are currently addressing. Since the inaugural event, the Apache Summit has been hosted by a different Apache tribe, this year hosted by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
"It's in our heritage to be strong as Native people. Anytime communities can cooperatively work together whether it is on water, tourism, economic development or lobbying on specific issues, it makes a much stronger impact. Remaining progressive in our approach to governing our communities is critical.
"I am proud of the Nation's leadership for using this progressive approach in our tribal community and of the Apache leadership for remaining progressive in addressing how each of our sovereign communities can support one another.
"I was honored to initiate the formal participation of the Yavapai-Apache Nation and to support the vision of our Apache leadership," said David Kwail, Chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
During the historic signing of the Apache Alliance document, the group adopted a mission statement and determined the vision of the Alliance, while electing a team of official officers. Ronnie Lupe, Chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe will serve as President, Jeff Haozous, Chairman of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe as Vice President, Stanley Montoya, Tribal Councilman of the Jicarilla Apache Nation as the Secretary and John Bush, Vice Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe as Treasurer of the Apache Alliance.
Ronnie Lupe, Chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe said, "As an Alliance, our next focus will be to adopt bylaws and establish policy and relationships in D.C. concerning Apaches and help one another with challenges with the state or federal governments."
The Alliance will continue to meet. The symbolic AA Winchester Rifle was transferred to the Tonto Apache Tribe who will host the next Alliance meeting in 2014.
The Yavapai-Apache Nation is comprised of two distinct people, the Yavapai and Apache.
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