Heritage

The history of our Yavapai people is filled with centuries of tragedies, challenges and triumphs.
Yet few outside the borders of our Nation today know much about us.

We believe it is time they learned.

The Yavapai have never had their own written language. Perhaps they never needed one. That is because the elders delivered their most important information in the form of a powerful story to ensure it would never be forgotten and it would be passed along to the next generation.

-          Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation “Our Brand” 2006

“Enduring strength. Perseverance. Commitment to our people, these are the things that define our past, and will ultimately determine our future.”

-          Past President Raphael Bear, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

“The Yavapai land in the Verde Valley is very beautiful. You see the red mountains and you feel the comfort and the spirit of the valley; that’s where creation started for us.”

-          Katherine Marquez, Yavapai-Apache

Land

The Nation is historically, economically and spiritually a part of the land nourished by the Verde River and protected by the sacred mountains beyond. From its natural resources to its majestic beauty, the land is the foundation of the Nation’s preservations today, and its future tomorrow.

Culture

The Nation is dedicated to keeping its Yavapai culture alive, honoring its past and celebrating its future through the preservation of its native tongue, arts, traditions, stories and struggles – sharing with the outside world what it can, and keeping what is deems most sacred to itself.

Essence

Our Nation continues the march of our ancestors – not on a Trail of Tears, but a Trail of Hope. Progressively moving forward on a journey to create a diverse mix of business enterprises that will secure the self-sufficiency and well being of our tribe today, and the future of our children tomorrow.

Along the way we nurture our people, and give help to those outside our borders, because that is who we are. We remember those who walked before, carrying with us their spirit of determination and treasuring their culture, because that is who we are.

And with every new mountain we climb, we always follow our footsteps that lead back to the sacred peaks, fertile farmlands, and flowing river of our beautiful land, because that too, is who we are.

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is committed to revitalizing its culture, remembering its heritage, protecting its land and celebrating the irrepressible spirit of its people.

Read the Yavapi Nation Creation Story

Learn more about Yavapi Nation History