ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One year after being granted reservation status in New Mexico, the Fort Sill Apache Friday raised their flag on their 30-acre plot of land in the Akela Flats of southern New Mexico. But tribal Chairman Jeff Haozous says it will likely take generations to re-establish a true presence on the tribe's homelands.
Key to the plans is resolution of the tribe's long-standing battle to build a casino on the reservation, an area where the tribe has made little progress in the last year.
Haozous says the casino is necessary for the tribe to be able to make money to expand the reservation and create the jobs necessary to lure tribal members back.
But Gov. Susana Martinez still opposes the casino and has declined to meet with the tribe. Haozous, however, says he remains undeterred and will work to get gaming with or without her support.