Washington, DC—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voice voted House Resolution 132, honoring the life and memory of the Chiricahua Apache leader Goyathlay or Goyaale, also known as Geronimo. This legislation recognizes the 100th anniversary of his death on February 17, 2009, as a time of reflection and the commencement of a “Healing” for all Apache people.
Representative Raul M. Grijalva introduced the bill with Representative Dale Kildee.
Grijalva released the following statement:
“It is an honor to help with the healing process of the Apache people and ask the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the 100th year passing of Goyathlay. For the Apache people, Goyathlay led the Apache people through some of the roughest times they would experience.
“Goyathlay is a strong figure in the history of the Apache people and he is intricate in Arizona’s rich history. He was considered by many a great spiritual and intellectual leader and is recognized throughout the country as a military leader during the late 1800s.
“Last week, the San Carlos Apache hosted a celebration on the anniversary of Goyathlay’s passing. At that celebration, Apache Tribes from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma united in San Carlos, Arizona to begin a healing process. That healing process was a search for answers for some and a healing for others. The celebration was also a reunion of Apache people that are working to connect families, tribal members, and communities that were separated while Goyathlay was alive.
“For all present last week, the celebration was a reflection of what the Apache people endured and the strength that lies within them. The Apache have overcome great adversity, but they are strong as a culture, as a people and in what their future holds.
“Today’s passage of H Res 132, is a step our country has learned and corrected its ways since the passing of Goyathlay. That we as a nation, commit to ensuring families are kept together, not separated. And that we as a nation do not negate the culture and tradition of others. In addition, this resolution is a statement from the US Congress that we all join with the Apache people in working to find answers and heal.
“I commend the Apache people for their strength and work in uniting. This legislation is a step towards in bringing the Apache Nation to heal and move forward. We must care for our elders and provide them peace. We must remind our children of our past and educate them to pursue a just future of respect and to not allow atrocities to occur anywhere.”