On May 15, 2012 the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent a letter to Governor Susana Martinez and regional elected officials to begin consultation about the Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s plans to develop the Apache Homelands casino on our reservation in Akela (to view this letter please visit www.FortSillApacheNewMexico.com). It’s the first step in the process that will enable us to bring hundreds of jobs and a major economic boost to Southwest New Mexico and to allow us to fulfill our long-held desire to return to our homeland. We’ve requested meetings with the Governor to discuss the benefits that we can bring to the state and the area, but she has not yet agreed to meet with us.
We’re preparing the application and the environmental reviews that this process requires and will soon submit them to the Federal Government for approval. In this process, we’ve consulted with elected officials and community leaders throughout the Southwest as well as New Mexico’s Tribes and Pueblo leaders. The Scoping Meeting that you attended this past April in Deming was a part of this process, and I want to thank you for attending the event.
We’re grateful for the backing we’ve received from the community and for the support letters that you’ve sent to state and federal officials, especially the Governor.
We’ve gotten letters from the City of Deming, Luna County, Deming Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Silver City,
Grant County, Hidalgo County, the Village of Hatch, the City of Las Cruces, the Pueblo of Pojoaque and residents like you. If you’re interested, we encourage you to write to Secretary Ken Salazar at the U.S. Department of the Interior: Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.
On Saturday, September 29, we’re planning to hold a tribal celebration at Akela. Activities begin at noon and will end with a dance by our Mountain Spirit Dancers. The dance is our way of evoking blessings for our efforts at Akela and will begin after sundown. We welcome you to join us for a meal and to experience our culture.
Chairman Jeff Haozous
Fort Sill Apache Tribe
At the time of publication the tribal celebration at Akela is still in discussion and the date and time may change.