The Cultural and Language Programs walk hand in hand as they are both the foundation of which we live our lives as Apaches. When we speak our language and hold our ceremonies, it is a statement to the world that our ways are very much still alive. These programs were created because we refuse to let the traditions our ancestors fought, suffered and died for dwindle away in history. As long as our culture is living and our language is spoken, the hardships they endured will not be in vain.

Cultural Program

The main function of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s Cultural Program is to preserve our Tribal history and culture. This includes researching, collecting, and storing any information available regarding the Tribe and promoting that information among its members. The Cultural Program collects resources in the form of documents, photographs, music, video, books, newspapers etc. We also generate new resources through research with Tribal members and other entities which include museum and archive collections related to the Tribe. We strive to keep our culture alive by organizing culturally related events, activities and also providing general or in depth cultural and historical information.

The Cultural Program hosts several classes throughout the year on making traditional items such as;

Women’s cloth dresses, women’s necklaces, men’s tweezer necklaces, belts, pollen bags, baby moccasins, and Chiricahua beadwork. All of our classes open with a brief lecture covering the history of what is being made, the traditional materials used and the cultural significance of it. We understand that some people may have little to no experience with these crafts which is why we take great pride in providing a setting which everyone can learn at their own pace. Some projects require multiple classes to complete which allows everyone who attends to have a completed project that they can be proud of.

Language Program

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe’s Language Program is designed to preserve and teach our traditional Chiricahua language. Our program of studies as of right now is a standard textbook and classroom environment. We understand not only is this an outdated method but also that different minds learn things in different ways. As a result of this we are currently developing new language material to better accommodate the various ways that people learn, specifically visual and hands-on learning. The next step will be to make that information readily available for our Tribal members and also to make it clear to understand.

We aim to host language class twice a month for around two hours. In time, the amount and duration of classes will change in an effort to welcome an array of Tribal members. Transformation of the curriculum currently used by the Language Program is imminent in order for the information to be properly captivated by all those who attend the classes.

We will do our best to provide Tribal members with any information requested. The Cultural and Language Programs are always open to new ideas for lessons and activities. We also ask that if our Tribal members have any skills or information which they believe might help these programs reach their goals of preserving and promoting information for the Tribe, please contact us.

Contact Info

Naomi Hartford

Cultural Coordinator
P. 580-588-2298  x2264

Keri Birch

Cultural Administrative Assistant
P. 580-588-2298  x2302