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Fort Apache Indian Reservation facts for kids

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White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation
White Mountain Apache seal.png
Seal of the White Mountain Apache tribe
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Arizona)
Western Apache, English
Christianity (especially Catholicism & Lutheranism), White Mountain Apache Culture,
Related ethnic groups
Western Apache, San Carlos Apache, Navajo

The Fort Apache Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation in northeastern Arizona, United States, encompassing parts of Navajo, Gila, and Apache counties. It is home to the federally recognized White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, a Western Apache tribe. It has a land area of 1.6 million acres and a population of 12,429 people as of the 2000 census. The largest community is in Whiteriver.


In 1871 General George Crook enrolled 50 White Mountain Apache men to serve as scouts for his army during the Fifteen-Year Apache Wars. These wars were ended with the surrender of the Chiricahua leader Geronimo in 1886. Because of the Scouts’ service to General Cook during the Apache Wars, their tribe was able to maintain a large portion of their homeland as the White Mountain Apache reservation.

In 1922, the U.S. Army left Fort Apache and in 1923, the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Theodore Roosevelt Indian Boarding School was established on the site. The school was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012, as a component of Fort Apache Historic Park. It is still operating as a tribal middle-school facility.

The White Mountain Apaches began to progress as a community and ultimately created their own constitution and established a tribal council that oversaw all tribe owned property, local businesses and governance in 1936.


The Fort Apache Indian Reservation is covered mostly by pine forests and is habitat to a variety of forest wildlife. It is located directly south of the Mogollon Rim. The highest point in the reservation is Baldy Peak, with an elevation of 11,403 feet (3,476 m).


According to the US Census Bureau, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, which is located in Navajo County, is developed with small communities. North Fork, Whiteriver, Fort Apache, East Fork, Rainbow City, Cibecue, Hon-Dah, McNary, Turkey Creek, and Seven Mile are the communities, comprising a total population of 22,036 in 2010 on the reservation.


A collection of Apache Indian baskets (ollas) on display, ca.1900 (CHS-3555)
A collection of Apache Indian baskets on display in about 1900



Fort Apache Indian Reservation entrance
The Fort Apache Indian Reservation, south of Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona

The tribe operates the Sunrise ski resort and the Hon-Dah Resort Casino and Conference Center. It has built the Apache Cultural Center & Museum, constructed in the traditional style of a gowa.

Other attractions within the reservation include the Fort Apache Historic Park, which has 27 buildings surviving of the historic fort and a 288-acre (117 ha) National Historic District; and other historic sites.

Kinishba Ruins, an ancient archeological site (AD/CE) of the western Pueblo culture, is a National Historic Landmark. It is located on nearby associated tribal trust lands. Appointments may be made to visit the site.

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