Jicarilla Apache Reservation 1895 - Image provided by The Johns Hopkins University
President Glover Cleveland's Executive Order established the Reservation on February 11, 1887. A sovereign nation lies within the Reservation boundaries and is governed by the Jicarilla Apache tribal constitution, approved in 1937. Prior to the establishment of the Reservation, the Jicarilla Apache people (and most other Native Americans) were considered squatters on their own lands and denied citizenship and the right to own land.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards and other Europeans, the Jicarilla Apache people lived a nomadic existence, roaming across northeastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas (Map 5-2). The first contact with the Spaniards came in 1541 when Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's expedition journeyed through the northeastern plains of New Mexico in search of gold. The Jicarilla Apache people were indifferent to the Spanish presence until the 1700s when the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 triggered the reconquest of New Mexico. There were approximately 10,000 Jicarilla Apache prior to the Spanish reconquest. By 1897, the population had plummeted to 330, but has since grown to 3,300 tribal members.
Information Courtesy of IRMP