Briefly: Fort Sill Apache Chairman opposes Skull and Bones suit

The chairman of the Apache tribe in Fort Sill, Okla., said he opposes a lawsuit filed by members of the Apache tribe of Mescalero, N.M., that implicates Skull and Bones and seeks to exhume the remains of Apache chieftain Geronimo and inter them in New Mexico. The tribal split dates to the early 20th century, when Geronimo’s Chiricahua tribe divided into groups living in Fort Sill and Mescalero. In a statement on the lawsuit, Fort Sill Apache Chairman Jeff Houser said his tribe is the proper successor to Geronimo’s Chiricahua tribe. To dig up the dead would be disrespectful and would accomplish nothing, Houser told the Las Cruces Sun-News. Skull & Bones is named in the suit because of persistent rumors that members of the society removed Geronimo’s skull and bones from the Fort Sill gravesite and transported them to New Haven in 1918 or 1919. The president of the Mescalero tribe distanced himself from the twenty lineal descendants of Geronimo who filed the suit. President Carleton Naiche-Palmer told the Sun-News in a statement last week that he and his tribe “have not actively sought the return of Geronimo’s remains.”

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