The Apache (/əˈpætʃi/) are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with which they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Apache people have moved throughout the United States and elsewhere, including urban centers. The Apache Nations are politically autonomous, speak several different languages and have distinct cultures.
Historically, the Apache homelands have consisted of high mountains, sheltered and watered valleys, deep canyons, deserts, and the southern Great Plains, including areas in what is now Eastern Arizona, Northern Mexico (Sonora and Chihuahua) and New Mexico, West Texas, and Southern Colorado. These areas are collectively known as Apacheria. The Apache tribes fought the invading Spanish and Mexican peoples for centuries. The first Apache raids on Sonora appear to have taken place during the late 17th century. In 19th-century confrontations during the American-Indian wars, the U.S. Army found the Apache to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists.
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The following Apache tribes are federally recognized:
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona
The Jicarilla are headquartered in Dulce, New Mexico, while the Mescalero are headquartered in Mescalero, New Mexico. The Western Apache, located in Arizona, is divided into several reservations, which crosscut cultural divisions. The Western Apache reservations include the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Yavapai-Apache Nation and Tonto-Apache Reservation.
The Chiricahua were divided into two groups after they were released from being prisoners of war. The majority moved to the Mescalero Reservation and form, with the larger Mescalero political group, the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation, along with the Lipan Apache. The other Chiricahua are enrolled in the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, headquartered in Apache, Oklahoma.
The Plains Apache are located in Oklahoma, headquartered around Anadarko, and are federally recognized as the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.