Photographer Rico Leffanta gives a personal view of that FAIR land, where life is never fair...

The Bush/Norton plan to develop the natural resources on Native American land, in our National Parks, and our National Monuments appears to be the patriotic thing to do, but what Bush/Norton say is very different from what they actually do, as can be seen in Secretary Colyer's 1871 Annual Report to the President. In reading Secretary Colyer's Report to the President, please note that:


In 1859 (when everyone knew "Geronimo" only as as "He who yawns"), Apaches were "peaceful Indians devoted to their crops".


Despite the terms of the peace treaty, Congress appropriated no funds to protect Apaches on their own land, to compensate Apaches for land and crops stolen by settlers, prospectors, and raiders, nor to provide the agreed trade goods ("their valleys, where they previously cultivated corn, were occupied by settlers, and their mountains overrun by gold-prospectors, who hunted their game, and no attempt had ever been made by the Government, either by treaty or conference, to consider their rights or necessities").


Despite the terms of the peace treaty, Colyer notes, "From the time of the Gadsden purchase, when we came into possession of their country, until about ten years ago, the Apaches were the friends of the Americans".

Note Colyer's careful wording because Apacheria was never part of the Gadsden Purchase. Apacheria was never conquered, purchased, occupied, nor settled by Spanish/Mexican nations and is distinctly shewn on Gadsden Purchase maps as a sovereign nation not included in the treaty!

Colyer continues, "Much of the time since then, the attempt to exterminate them has been carried on at a cost of from three to four millions of dollars per annum, with no appreciable progress made in accomplishing their extermination". No need for subterfuge here; Colyer makes it quite clear that the Government's purpose in offering peace was simply to gain an advantage toward "EXTERMINATING" the Apache people!


Despite the treaty, Emancipation Proclamation, and the Civil War, the Government would continue kidnapping and enslaving Apache children (i.e., to "be instructed in manual labor appropriate to their respective sexes").


Despite the terms of the treaty, and the failure rate, the U.S. would continue to appoint missionaries, irrespective of their qualifications, to oversee Apaches, their land, and their natural resources ("it is hoped that capable Christian agents may soon be appointed to represent the Department of the Interior upon the reservation").


Colyer brags about purchasing goods "at and below the lowest market prices", but neglects to mention those bargain goods were sick and dying cattle bloated in the Gila river to meet Government weight requirements, blankets and linen infected with diseases from military and civilian hospitals, rotting food settlers were unable to sell, and food poisoned by Arizona Territory politicians and business leaders.


Colyer makes no mention at all of the most infamous Arizona news story of 1871, the slaughter and butchering of 144 Apache women, children, and infants under U.S. government protection at Camp Grant by Tucson citizens on April 30, 1871.

Was this Annual Report included in the history books at your school?

Colyer to President, 15 November 1871, in United States, Office of Indian Affairs, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary for the Year 1871 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872), 12-22, NADP Document RB1871.



WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 1871.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the third annual report of the Board of Indian Commissioners to the President of the United States.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the lnterior, Washington, D.C.


SIR: The Board of Indian Commissioners, in making their third annual report, find abundant cause for thankfulness and encouragement while reviewing the condition of the Indians in the United States during the past year.

- - - - (other Indian Tribes omitted; to read the full report click HERE ) - - - -


The only other Indians who have caused any serious trouble are the Apaches of New Mexico and Arizona.

In our last two annual reports we called attention to the situation of this tribe, their eager desire for peace, their starving condition, and the opinion of the Indian agents and Army officers, that, with means to feed and clothe them, they could be kept at peace. Unable to obtain an appropriation from Congress for the purpose, the Indian Department was powerless, and the Apaches were left to obtain food and raiment as they best could--usually by stealing from the settlers or travelers on the highway. As many of their valleys, where they previously cultivated corn, were occupied by settlers, and their mountains overrun by gold-prospectors, who hunted their game, and no attempt had ever been made by the Government, either by treaty or conference, to consider their rights or necessities, this conduct of the Apaches ought not to surprise us.

At the urgent solicitation of the board, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, Congress, at its last session, made an appropriation of seventy thousand dollars for the special purpose of correcting this evil, and this money becoming available on the 1st of last July, the Board, at its meeting in May, directed its Secretary to proceed to New Mexico and Arizona, to make arrangements to bring these roving Apache Indians upon suitable reservations, and to feed, clothe, and otherwise care for them. The hearty approval of the President, the instructions of the Secretary of the Interior, and necessary orders from the Secretary of War having been obtained, the Secretary of the board visited Arizona and New Mexico. His offers of peace were received by the Apaches with great eagerness, several thousands of them immediately coming in upon the reservations selected for them, and latest advices show that the remainder will soon follow, if not deterred from doing so by improper influences. The action of the Secretary has met with your approval, and that of the Secretary of the Interior, and the orders issued from the Interior and War Departments, for the purpose of carrying fully into effect the proposed plan, are entirely in accord with the past and present views of the Board of Indian commissioners. Similar instructions were issued by the Interior and War Departments in 1869, soon after the organization of the board, which defined the policy of the Government in the treatment of the Indians. This policy was set forth in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1869 viz: "that they (the Indians) should be secured in their legal rights; located when practicable on reservations; assisted in agricultural pursuits and the arts of civilized life; and that Indians who should fail or refuse to come in and locate in permanent abodes provided for them would be subject wholly to the control and supervision of military authorities, to be treated as friendly or hostile as circumstances might justify."

The clearly defined allotment of their respective duties to the Indian agents and the military officers in the Indian country, can hardly fail to secure harmony of action, and it is hoped that capable Christian agents may soon be appointed to represent the Department of the Interior upon the reservation.

It is believed that the policy, if faithfully sustained and persisted in by the military and civil officers commanding in Arizona and New Mexico, will be successful, as it has been elsewhere.

The attempt to defeat it by the arrest of Indians upon the reservation who have made peace, for acts alleged to have been committed in time of war, should be resisted, otherwise the act of the Government upon whose faith their surrender is made becomes one of mere treachery. From the time of the Gadsden purchase, when we came into possession of their country, until about ten years ago, the Apaches were the friends of the Americans. Much of the time since then, the attempt to exterminate them has been carried on at a cost of from three to four millions of dollars per annum, with no appreciable progress made in accomplishing their extermination.

But the activity of the military has accomplished its only legitimate and proper end, that of compelling in the Indians an earnest desire for peace. To persist in war under such circumstances would be not only barbarous in the extreme, but an inexcusable waste of the funds and sources of the Government. It has been asserted that the Apaches are more savage and less to be trusted than other Indians.

The agent of the Government who had charge of the Apaches in 1859 when they were at peace, said in his report of the White Mountain Coyoteros, numbering 2,500, and including Cochise's band, that "in all their intercourse with the Government, their deportment toward travelers and traders, they have shown themselves to be the most reliable of all the bands of the Apaches." And of all the Apaches in regard to whom the assertion alluded to is now made, he said, "They cultivate the soil extensively, raise wheat, corn, beans, and pumpkins in abundance." Detailed account will be found in Commissioner Colyer's report on Arizona, A b.


The system of appointing Indian agents nominated by missionary societies commends itself to the judgment of the board, as having effected a manifest improvement in the agencies where it is fully operative. In several cases they have been deceived in the character of the persons appointed, and instant dismissal has followed. In one or two instances the society making a nomination has not yet acted on the implied obligation to take a missionary interest in behalf of the Indians thus committed to their care. It is impossible that so radical a change and improvement as is made and intended by the system should be perfected in the short time during which this has been inaugurated, but enough has transpired to warrant the most sanguine expectation of success. The religious societies which have assumed the responsibility offered them by the President, in his desire to administer wisely, justly, and humanely the affairs of the Government in its relations to the Indians, it is not supposed will in any case fail in their duty from lack of proper effort.


The schools among the partly civilized Indians should in all cases be boarding-schools, where children of both sexes, while being taught necessary branches of a common education, may, at the same time, be instructed in manual labor appropriate to their respective sexes. The day-schools are a total or comparative failure in nearly every instance known to the members of the board. The reasons are stated in the report of Mr. Brunot, before referred to.


In addition to the duties already devolving upon the board, Congress at its last session added that of auditing all the accounts of the Indian Department, (see act of Congress approved March 3, 1871.) This duty, though a very onerous one to the members, and, like all the powers conferred upon the board since its organization, wholly unsolicited, as it was believed to have been framed by Congress in the interests of economy and honest dealing, was cheerfully undertaken by the executive committee. It necessitated the employment of additional clerks, and consequent expense.


From March 23, 1871, to December 5, 1871, the executive committee examined 1,136 vouchers, including cash accounts of superintendents and agents, representing a cash disbursement of $5,240,729 60, being vouchers for Indian goods, annuities, services, &c., amounting to $3,410,759 34, and cash accounts of superintendents and agents amounting to $1,829,170 26.
Of these, there were rejected as follows:

10 for exorbitant
prices, amounting to
....................$82,786 29
2 for being purchased
without consulting the board,
amounting to
...................2,292 82
7 "Erie and Pacific Dispatch,"
amounting to
.....................15,917 09
21 Northwest Transportation
Company, amounting to
.................... 52,170 80
Total rejected ....................153,166 20


The same care which was taken in the purchase and inspection of the Indian annuity goods last year under the same committee, Messrs. George H. Stuart, Robert Campbell, William E. Dodge, and John V. Farwell, was continued this year, and, as will appear from their report, (Appendix A h,) with much advantage to the service. The confidence inspired in the minds of merchants, manufacturers, and dealers in subsistence, that the awards would be fairly made, largely increased the number of bids and lessened the prices.

In May nearly half a million of dollars' worth of annuity goods were purchased "at and below the lowest market prices," and in May and June beef, bacon, flour, and other subsistence stores, to the amount of $1,783,729 29, were purchased "at prices averaging much below what had been paid before the board began to exercise its superintendence."
The price paid for beef on the hoof this year averaged 2 06/100 cents per pound as against 4 39/100 cents per pound last year. The amount purchased, 27,441,750 pounds of beef, cost $714,996 85. The same amount at last year's prices would have cost $1,204,692 82, a difierence of $489,695 97 in favor of the present year. While part of this difference may be fairly attributed to a decline in value, it is chiefly due to the competition induced by the reasons given above.


Increased experience in dealing with the Indians only tends to confirm the board more and more in the wisdom of the policy of peace so uniformly advocated by the President, and supported by the liberality of Congress and the humane sympathies of the people; and the board confidently look forward to the day when the bitterness which now assails this policy in some parts of the United States, where it is least understood, will fill a page in history as unnatural and curious as that which records the old hatred against freedom and the friends of the slave.


For the uniform kindness and patience with which the President, the Secretary of the Interior, and the several committees of Congress having charge of Indian affairs have listened to the suggestions of the board, and the courtesy and good-will extended toward its members by all the officers of the executive departments, the General and all the officers of the Army, with whom they have had any intercourse, the board desire to return their most grateful acknowledgments.


Above all, we desire to return thanks to God for having permitted us to see so much good resulting from comparatively so humble efforts.
Respectfully submitted.

FELIX R. BRUNOT, Pittsburgh, Pa.,
GEORGE H. STUART, Philadelphia.



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Response to Brotherwren and other Christians

I thought by opening a window to Fort Apache some good might be accomplished, then discovered someone with an "Indian Prostitutes" website was stealing photos from my web pages to present Apache maidens as Indian prostitutes on his/her pages.

I received so many hate messages from Christians, I closed my mail box. How anyone can claim their religion preaches love, yet send hate messages is about as clear to me as those who profess life is sacred and spread that message by blowing up clinics and killing people.

"Brotherwren" protests my FAIR report isn't very fair because Catholic, Lutheran, and LDS churches have been on Fort Apache Indian Reservation for many generations during which time they accomplished much good.

I must confess I am wholly ignorant of any good accomplished by churches on FAIR. As emphasided, GREED IS NEVER SATISIFIED, so it should be obvious that wherever there is property, there will be a church intent on gaining control of that property.

As in Europe, the finest bulding in any FAIR community belongs to a Christian church, those very people who gave the world the Dark Ages, and the Spanish Inquisition. The very same people who delighted in the "Inter Caetera" Bull issued by Pope John Paul II in 1493 decreeing that all natives in the "new World" were heretics whose property and lives were forfeit in the name of God, instantly authorizing the mindless slaughter of millions of Native American children, families, clans and tribes so their property could legally pass into Christian hands.

The Japanese executed every Christian in their land, native or not, after a drunken American sea captain revealed that Europeans were able to capture so much of the world simply by sending in missionaries to turn brother against brother, and children against their parents to develop pockets of property and support. In due course, tempers would flare, sides would be chosen, daily life would become chaos, and the foreign military would be welcomed to restore order - exactly the same tactic employed at Fort Apache Indian Reservation where missionaries, without knowing anything about Apaches, immediately declared Ga-an were "Devil Dancers", a term still in use today by Christians and publishers who can't be bothered by facts, and won't admit to making a mistake.

Territorial governors, John Clem, and The Tucson Ring - all prominent Christians, seldom missed any opportunity to turn brother against brother, torture, rape, or murder Apache children and adults in their unrelenting religious quest for profit and Apache property.

A primary objective of the BIA was to kidnap Apache children and send them to schools or homes to become brainwashed and baptised Christians.

KNNB Apache Radio was established so Apaches could hear news, stories, and music in their own language. In no time at all, Christians united under a banner of "freedom of Religion" and "freedom of Speech", seized control of the station, and bombarded the air waves with fire and brimstone diatribes called "sermons", which haven't changed since missionaries illegally arrived on FAIR land:

"Don't listen to your elders! They don't know what they are talking about! The earth is not your mother! If you needed a mother, God would give you one, but God doesn't even have a wife because he knows you don't need another mother! God wants you to be happy, and He will give you everything you need to be happy! So don't listen to those old ones! The earth is not your mother! The earth is God's Gift to you! It is a bank, a big bank, where you can take out whatever you want, whenever you want, and the more you take out, the more God will give back to you as long as you remember to give Him His share, which is only 10% of everything. And for that little 10%, you never need to worry about replenishing your bank account, because as long as you believe in God, and pay your tithing honestly, God will provide for you!"

I do not understand how "brotherwren" determines good comes from turning brother against brother, nor from turning children against their parents.

Every summer, evangelists flock to Fort Apache Indian Reservation, hold revivals, pass the collection plate, then distribute their ill-gotten gains among the bars and prostitutes in Pinetop and Globe, without performing one single human kindness to anyone.

At every election, very vocal Christian Apaches urge their clansmen to give the "old guard" the boot because the earth really is a bank, and with an elightened Christian Tribal Council, they can lease the earth to mining companies who will pay the Tribe great royalties so every Apache will have his own modern home with running water, electricity, color TVs, stereo boom boxes, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and all the other really important things in life that the "old guard" have denied them simply because of a silly superstition that the earth is sacred.

Those Christian voices never mention that when the Navajo heeded such council, they discovered creative accounting substantially reduced the royalties, and the BIA lost most of the rest in a bottomless maze of accounting which could only determine that the Navajo must bite the bullet for tailings, chemicals, health, and social problems that mining brought to their environment and culture.

"Brotherwren" should remember that none of the blankets, food or clothing distributed by churches on Fort Apache Indian Reservation were actually earned by that church; every little bit was a "donation", a divine word for stealing property in a 2,000-year-old scam which promises to redeem a soul for a small tithe, i.e., commission!

The Christian message has always been to belittle and despise anyone - including other Christians - who don't share the same belief or lifestyle, so NONE , i.e., NOT ONE of the churches on Fort Apache Indian Reservation ever taught - or teach - Apache children how to live in harmony with their neighbors, nor with their environment.

Christians teach children to deride anyone who isn't a Christian, then anyone who doesn't go to the same church, then anyone who doesn't pay their tithes or attend church regularly, then anyone who isn't male, then anyone who isn't "chosen", constantly picking people to pieces until they live and die totally unbalanced.

Fort Apache Indian Reservation, The White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Endangered Species exist today only because Apache elders didn't believe that TRUST ME people (who knew nothing about cholla cactus), nor "God's Chosen People" (who knew nothing about Ga-an) nor "The Great White Father" could ever possibly know more than their own fathers knew about how best to live in this FAIR land. That knowledge of Apache forefathers has very clearly passed the test of time, and proven to be sound right up to the door step of the new millennium.

Tomorrow is another day. We can be certain Christians will never falter in their attempt to save Apache souls by relieving them of their property, and that the money and power of the TRUST ME government will never cease to support that "divine" mission.

Fortunately, changing "Coyotero" to "White Mountain Apache" did not change Apache ability to survive all manner of hardships on their own FAIR land!

* * * *

n.b. It never ceases to amaze me the number of Christians out there who are inspired by their god to write and condemn me, e.g., "your bitterness will consume you until you burn in everlasting Hell" or to preach, "Christianity is a religion of love", or to claim that a few good men (apparently there are no good women) out of millions of Christians should somehow be accepted as representative of the whole.

What really astonishes me is the complete inability of these Christians to see themselves as others see them, i.e., a people without any respect for the earth, for the family, or for the truth. "There are none so blind as those who will not see!"

Looking through an Indian window, one sees Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in the same god, yet, in their "holy" city of Jerusalem - they daily kill each other over something as trivial as whether the Bible, the Koran, or the Torah is the Word of God; should they agree on that, they kill each other over whom has the correct interpretation, simply because these religions were not founded on love, but on absolute intolerance for anyone - parent, spouse, or child - who believes or behaves differently from current interpretation. Yet DNA analysis has clearly established they are all genetic brothers!

In contrast, traditional Apaches greet the rising sun and are daily reminded - as sunlight slips across the landscape invigorating all it touches - that our Creator does not need any one's help spreading the Word, nor in enlightening the darkest corner of the mind, or the spirit.

Since "time immemorial," Apaches have thrived without hierarchies, without missionaries, without heretics, and without an organization of police - or warriors (Apaches never had a warrior society), because Apaches understand happiness is walking in beauty.

To walk in beauty does not require killing anyone, seizing power or property, collecting tithes, building churches, or dictating precisely how other people must serve god, the clergy, or how to live every little aspect of their lives.

Walking in beauty simply requires following the Creator's light, avoiding reflections and murky shadows cast by those determined to be remembered as being larger than life.

Consider these words, not from a missionary, not from a self-righteous hypocrite, but from a man who looked and listened instead of preaching:

"I love the people who have always made me welcome to the best they had.
I love a people who are honest without laws, who have no jails and no poorhouses.
I love a people who keep the commandments without ever having read them or heard them preached from the pulpit.
I love a people who never swear, who never take the name of God in vain.
I love a people who worship God without a Bible, for I believe that God loves them also.
I love the people whose religion is all the same, and who are free from religious animosities.
I love the people who have never raised a hand against me, or stolen my property, where there was no law to punish either.
I love the people who have never fought a battle with white men , except on their own ground.
I love a people who live and keep what is their own without locks and keys.
I love a people who do the best they can. And oh, how I love a people who don't live for the love of money.

George Catlin

* * * *

On February 22, 1999, Rev. Henry Lyons joined the long list of evangelists (Swaggert, Baker, etc.) found guilty of bilking supporters out of millions of dollars - four million dollars for Rev. Lyons, most of which was squandered on "love affairs". There isn't one person in the entire world who needs your money to spread the word of God because - when necessary - the Creator can do it with the upmost accuracy without anyone's help at all.

Jesse Jackson has very clearly demonstrated the difference between Christianity and any other business in America: in business, if you don't follow the rules, you get fired, but in Christianity, when you don't follow the rules, you invoke the divine excuse "God has forgiven me" then get right back into the saddle and ride on into the sunset.

The last thing ANY Reservation needs in another Christian on it, so instead of donating to "God's work", put your money toward visiting the Reservation to enjoy its natural beauty, and to learn what you can learn.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "God helps those who help themselves", and this photo gives you a clue about what an open-minded person can learn on the Reservation.

Apaches pray with open hands to welcome the blessing they expect to receive.

Christians pray with hands tightly clasped together so their god can't give them anything, thus reinforcing that self-image of sinners unworthy of God's blessings, and the necessity of bestowing their property to a church, or some medium, to intercede on their behalf.

Compare "walking in beauty" to walking to the bank and decide for yourself if Apache culture has some benefit to the world, or if the government and big business should persist in their efforts to "EXTERMINATE" the Apache people!

The Photo of the Month: PHOTO
Photos of everyday life on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Photo Album
Rodeo and cowboy life on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Apache Cowboys
Photos of petroglyphs on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Rock Art
Photos of free spirits on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Wildlife
"A Mask for Halloween" campfire story HALLOWEEN
Understanding Geronimo's power. POWER
Apache puberty rite for a girl's "coming-of-age" CEREMONY
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