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The Gathering 2023.10

Federal Acknowledgement

It is time to begin collecting any and all historical, spiritual and political (governance) information that will be used to create a historical and spiritual timeline leading from the 1852-1853 treaty up to now. This is absolutely necessary to get our Nation to acknowledgment. Magazine articles, internet articles. Personal (family) stories, books, research papers and any communications to or from us that show we are recognized by other entities as a Nation. Examples would be recent communications from federal government asking for our input into place name reconciliation act, other federally recognized tribes forwarding requests for tribal enrollment, ICWA inquiries, any communications between state or federal government representatives (state or federal legislators, governors or other state officials). Involvement of support for Oak Flat, Boarding School historical education, support for our Nations and other Tribal Nations cultural or political causes.

Contacting scholars to see if they would help provide their research for the scattered Chiricahua. Remember no piece of information is to small.

This information will be preserved by Nantan in a hard copy and digital files.

This is an all hands on deck situation and will need Council and Citizens of our Nation to accomplish.

The time is now! If we want to achieve acknowledgment, we MUST gather the above-mentioned information. How much do we want this for future generations? How much do we want this for our people? This will not be easy but if we all work together it is possible. The future of our Nation is in every Citizens hands!

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Update

At the 4th Annual Indian Child Welfare Summit on October 10, 2023, keynote speaker Honorable Judge John J. Romero, Jr. (Ret.) spoke of the Spirit of Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) as well as Jack Trope (Esq.), Casey Family Programs & Kimberly Cluff (Esq.), California Tribal Families Coalition explained next steps “Post Brakeen.”  Key points included importance of building lasting State and Tribal Partnerships with Courts, engaging in meaningful association with the Indian child’s Tribe, and the Tribe as the Primary Parent.  Trope and Cluff elaborated on next steps for ICWA and The Indian Protection Act of New Mexico as the Platinum Standard. 

Other powerful summit speakers included Dr. Yellowhorse regarding Ke’ (Kinship) and blood memory, Long-Term Healing & Well-being for Current & Former Youth Panel of Lived Experts, and a youth advocacy panel along with several others sharing incredible stories of resiliency and healing.  Robert Mesa Robert Mesa (Diné/Soboba Luiseno), Actor/Artist and CASA First Director shared, “I never knew who I was, and the only thing I related to was a broken soul,” urging the importance of kindling any “glimmer” of interest in youth in foster care, as theatre and dance was his spark that led him to where he is today. 

Recently, the Sovereign Nation of Chiricahua Apache was designated as a Heritage Tribe according to California W.I.C. 306.6.  We have worked within three court cases with citizens/families.  The Courts have followed the Spirit of ICWA regarding placement and ensuring the children’s continued cultural connection with our People, while we have provided the families with Chiricahua and other Native-specific resources and support.  – Dr. Christina Cruz, PsyD, Citizen and SNOCA/CAN ICWA Representative.

For more information and resources related to ICWA:

Active efforts handout for involved families:

Youth live experiences videos:

Safe foster care:

ICWA as Gold Standard

Indian Family Protection Act of New Mexico (2022)

Dr. Cruz and Honorable Judge John J. Romero, Jr. (Ret.)
Robert Mesa

Next Open Council Meeting – November 8th, 2023 – 6:30pm MST

Citizen participation welcome: questions, comments, concerns

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