February 28, 2019
Yavapai-Apache Nation Announces Rescheduled Annual
Exodus Day Event.
CAMP VERDE, AZ – The Yavapai-Apache Nation will host its Annual Exodus Day Commemoration Event on March 23, 2019 at the Veterans Memorial Park. Exodus Day is the Nation’s commemoration of the forced removal of the Yavapai and Apache people from their extensive treaty land in the Verde Valley. The 1875 Removal – 1900 Return Commemoration is a day of remembrance for the time in 1875 when tribal members were removed by military force from the Verde Valley. The commemoration honors their subsequent return to their homeland around 1900.
The Exodus Day event will be held at the Yavapai-Apache Nation Veterans Memorial Park, located below Cliff Castle Casino-Hotel. The event is open to the general public and will begin at 10 a.m. The following is a complete itinerary for the event:
6 a.m. Boynton Canyon Blessing Ceremony
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Vendors at Veterans Memorial Park
10 a.m. San Carlos Runners Return
- 10 a.m. Annual Commemorative Walk (Park to Culture Center)
- 12 p.m. Community Luncheon
- 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Cultural Entertainment
Yavapai-Apache Nation Chairwoman Jane Russell-Winiecki said, “The Annual Exodus Day Commemoration event is a time for our people to celebrate our survival, strength, and success. We have been able to preserve our history, culture and language. I am honored to join my fellow tribal members in commemorating the sacrifices of our ancestors and to also celebrate with hope and a strong future for our Yavapai and Apache people.”
The Annual Exodus Day event is historically held the last Saturday of February, commemorating the date the Yavapai and Apache people were forced marched to San Carlos in 1875. Due to the harsh winter storm that passed through the Verde Valley, the Nation issued a statement rescheduling the February event to March 23, to ensure that tribal members and the general public were safe.
“There is nothing more important than the safety, health and well-being of our tribal members. With the significant snowfall and drop in temperatures, we wanted to make sure that everyone remained safe and healthy. Not only did the Nation reschedule the event, but many businesses and activities in Northern Arizona were closed or cancelled. We took into consideration the significance of the February date, however, the general safety and welfare of our people are priority, and we are thrilled that we have identified a date to commemorate who we are as Yavapai-Apache people,” stated Winiecki.
The Yavapai-Apache Nation is a self-governed Indian Nation that has called the Verde Valley home for more than 150 years, and whose ancestors in the area date back several centuries.