Survey Shows New Mexicans Want Jobs and the Fort Sill Apache Tribe

Survey Shows New Mexicans Want Jobs and

the Fort Sill Apache Tribe


New Mexico residents SUPPORT the Apache Homelands Casino in Southwest New Mexico. 

Akela, New Mexico (September 29, 2011)--The results are in and the message is loud and clear. New Mexico residents want jobs; they want the Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache Tribe (Fort Sill Apache) and believe that the Apache Homelands Casino will deliver much needed economic growth in Southwest New Mexico.

Nationally renowned pollster and President of Luntz Global, LLC Dr. Frank Luntz said, “Legislators should listen to the people they represent, because these results show they are screaming loud and clear. New Mexicans are telling their leaders they want jobs, and that they believe Ft. Still Apache Tribe has a plan to create them.”

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe commissioned Luntz Global to conduct an online survey and a live phone poll of 500 New Mexico residents to gather insight on what residents think about state issues. The survey and poll also measured residents’ opinion about a casino in Southwest New Mexico operated by Fort Sill within their legally defined homelands.

Said Dr. Luntz, “New Mexicans also agree that this project is about more than just dollars and cents—it’s about justice and fairness, too. An overwhelming majority (67 percent) of New Mexicans support The Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s efforts to return to their rightful home.”

The top three issues that are most important to New Mexicans are job creation (43 percent), education (29 percent) and limiting illegal immigration (28 percent).

The poll also gauged New Mexico opinion on the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Tribe’s return to New Mexico and their economic plan. Here are the three key findings:

1)        If the tribe can bring jobs, the people of New Mexico will support them. With the economy in the condition that it is in, New Mexicans are hungry for jobs. Two thirds of New Mexicans (66 percent) agree with the following statement and 12 percent disagree. 

"If the Fort Sill Apache Tribe can demonstrate that they'll bring quality jobs and economic revitalization to one of New Mexico's most struggling communities, I will support their efforts to open a new gaming location.”

2)        New Mexicans RESOUNDINGLY support the Apache Homelands Casino.  Of New Mexicans who are familiar with the Fort Sill Apache’s plans to build a casino at Akela, 66 percent support the project and 31 percent are opposed. In the local community, 59 percent support and 39 percent oppose. 

3)        New Mexicans support the Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s right to return to their native lands. Fully 67 percent agree with the following statement, while only 8 percent disagree:

"The Fort Sill Apache Tribe has the right to return to the land their ancestors owned and our government has promised them. Our federal and state leaders should honor their promise and let them return." 

“For 125 years we have worked to return to our New Mexico homelands following our removal from the state as Prisoners of War by the U.S. Government in 1886,” said Fort Sill Apache Chairman Jeff Houser. “The poll results confirm that our efforts are correct and we will continue our endeavors to return to land of our ancestors.”

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is 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.

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe has trust land in Akela, New Mexico which is the location of the Tribe’s Apache Homelands Entertainment Center. The entertainment center attracts visitors to its smoke shop, restaurant and tribal cultural display. The Tribe is working with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on approval of the Fort Sill Reservation Proclamation in New Mexico.


METHODOLOGY: The survey was conducted online by interviewing 400 New Mexican registered voters from August 29th to September 1st.  The margin of error for the statewide sample is + 4.9%. In addition, a 100 person oversample was conducted via telephone of New Mexicans living in Dona Ana and Luna counties. The margin of error for the oversample sample is + 9.8%. The survey accurately reflects the demographic and behavioral patterns of New Mexico.  


Media Contacts:

Catherine Wambach

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Jeff Houser

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Top line poll results are available upon request to Catherine Wambach.