REMEMBERING Goyaałé - GERONIMO (1829–1909)

Getty Images/Hulton Arcive

Getty Images/Hulton Arcive

On this day, February 17, 1909, Goyaałé [kòjàːɬɛ́], also known as Geronimo, journeyed to the spirit world. Goyaałé was born in present-day New Mexico at the headwaters of the Gila River. He was Chiricahua Apache and known to the world as a great warrior fighting for the survival of his people against the genocide and oppression of the US government and its army. Goyaałé was also a powerful spiritual leader and medicine man, sought out by Apache Chiefs for his revered wisdom and legendary supernatural powers.

Following the murder of his mother, Juana, his wife, Alope, and his three children, Goyaałé continued resisting white colonization of his homeland in the Southwest Apache Territories until his final surrender in 1886. Upon negotiations and terms of his final surrender, Goyaałé was betrayed by the US government. Along with more than 300 of his fellow Chiricahua, Goyaałé was sent to Fort Marion, Florida, never to see his homeland again. He remained a prisoner of war for 27 years. On February 17, 1909, Goyaałé journeyed to the spirit world. He is buried at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in the Apache Indian Prisoner of War Cemetery.

In the Spirit of Geronimo, join us in the Apache tradition of resisting the forces that threaten Indigenous sisters and brothers, land and life.

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