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home : blogsold : verde heritage May 29, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Saturday, January 11, 2014

1907: VERDE INDIANS WANT A SCHOOL.

Verde Heritage

"VERDE INDIANS WANT SCHOOL."

"A request unique in the history of the executive office, was made of Governor Kibbey at Phoenix, Monday, by three Yavapai county Apache-Mohave Indians, residents of the Verde Valley, near Cottonwood. These Indians made the trip to Phoenix for the one purpose of requesting Governor Kibbey to aid them in securing the establishment of an Indian school near Camp Verde that the Indian children in the Verde Valley might receive the benefit of an education."

"It has been generally supposed that the older Indians, if not actually opposed to the 'white man's school,' were at least not in favor of it, but this request has proved that at least one notable exception to the general rule prevails. Since Justin Head, the Carlisle graduate, shot and killed five Indians in the Verde Valley, for which crime he is now serving a life sentence in the Territorial penitentiary, it was thought that the Verde Indians would never countenance an education for their offspring, as they attributed to Head's education, or at least, so it was alleged by some, the estrangement from his people which led to the crimes, but the request of the three Indians, Chief Novak, Second Chief John Cava and Peter Ocotilla, disproves this erstwhile belief."

"Chief Novak made an eloquent appeal for school facilities for the younger children of his tribe. He called attention to the fact that he had been active for years in sending larger children to the Indian school at Phoenix, and he mentioned many other facts to prove that he was in full sympathy with the ways of civilization. But, he said, it is not only a hardship to send the very small children away from home, but was in fact impossible to a large extent, so that until they are considerably past the ordinary school age they must be without facilities for education. He stated that there are at least thirty young children in the immediate vicinity of Camp Verde, and he strongly urged that a school building be constructed for them and a good school established therein. He said he had found from long observation that education was a good thing for the Indian --- although he was without education himself --- and it was good for the Indian to adapt himself to the white man's ways and to work for his living. He was warmly seconded by Captain John and by the interpreter."

"The Governor promised to lay the matter before the authorities at Washington, and to do all in his power to have the school established, and he complimented all three of his visitors upon their public spirit."

"Chief Novak imparted the pleasing information that the Mohave-Apaches under his jurisdiction are prospering and contented. They find work on the ranches, on the railoads and on the public roads, and at the smelter at Jerome."

"The chief exhibited with considerable pride a faded commission which was issued on the 20th of August, 1874, by Brigadier General George Crook, to Captain Charley, a Mohave-Apache, appointing Charley chief of the tribe. The commission was on parchment, and set forth in strong terms the many merits of Captain Charley. This commission is dearly prized by Chief Novak as one of the evidences of his own right to the title. Captain Charley, upon his death, was succeeded as chief by Marshal Pete, by virtue of an election held by the tribe, and upon Marshal Pete's death, Novak was duly elected chief so that the commission from General Crook is an important link in his chain of title."

"The Governor gave Chief Novak a letter commending him to the proper courtesy and consideration of all persons that he may meet."

(Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner; Prescott; January 2, 1907; page 2, column 1.)


Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Elita Rinehart

GLENDA, WOULD YOU GIVE ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER as I need some help with a project I am working concerning the rio verde rez and Haskle Springs. I will come by again if you would like me to. my no. is (928) 202-0975



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