On December 30, 2008 a blessing ceremony was held on the site of “Old” San Carlos, location of the San Carlos Apache Reservation’s original settlement, at the confluence of the Gila and San Carlos Rivers. The purpose of the ceremony was to spiritually prepare the land for the erection of a memorial comemmorating the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Geronimo.
On February 17, the anniversary date, the commemoraton will take place. Its purpose, according to San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Wendsler Nosie, is not only to honor Geronimo and his resistance to conquest. According to his official statement
This is the pain and suffering our people lived through. Many of our ancestors have never forgotten the sadness and unforgiving moments. It has been passed on to their children and generations thereafter….Is it any wonder that we are so deeply divided, not having dealt with the atrocities? We must cope with what actually happened to our ancestors, put it behind us, begin to heal, understand who we are and go forward together as a Tribe and as Apaches.
Representatives from all Apache tribes will be present, a gathering of all the tribes not seen, according to Nosie, since the 1870s. Those arriving from other reservations will begin camping around the memorial site throughout the weekend of February 13. Blessing songs will be sung after the evening meal on the 16th. The commemoration will take place from 8:30 a.m. – noon on the 17th. Julia and I will be present. You can learn more at The Geronimo Project.