Mescalero Agency - Mescalero Apache Tribe

US Department of the Interior Indian Affairs - Mescalero Agency

Mescalero Agency


The Mescalero Agency consists of the following branches of service for the one Federally-recognized tribes under their jurisdiction:

  • Office of the Superintendent - Charles Riley
  • Branch of Administration - Velda Garcia
  • Branch of Social Services - Linda Oberle
  • Branch of Natural Resources - Gregory Mendez
  • Branch of Facilities Management - (Vacant)
  • Branch of Forestry/Fire Management - Erica Enjady/Christopher Little
  • Law Enforcement Services - Mark Decoteau

The tribe serviced is the Mescalero Apache Tribe. This tribe includes approximately 3,979 members who are eligible to receive various services through their tribal office. Read more



Mescalero Apache Tribe

Link to Official Website


The Mescalero people were nomadic hunters and gathers and roamed the Southwest. They were experts in guerrilla warfare and highly skilled horsemen. The women were known for their ability to find and prepare food from many different plant sources. The people were given the name "Mescalero" because they gathered and ate the mescal plant. It was the staple of their diets and could sustain them in good times and bad. Read more


Tribal History


Hundreds of years ago, long before white men came to this land, these mountains, plains and deserts belonged to the Mescalero Apaches. No other Native Americans in the Southwest caused the terror and constant fear in the settlers as the Apaches did throughout their existence. They raided Spanish, Mexican and American settlers, and were known to be expert guerrilla fighters who defended their homelands.


The Mescalero were essentially nomadic hunters and warriors, dwelling at one place for a temporary time in brush shelter known as a "Wicki up"; short rounded dwellings made of twigs or teepees made of elk hides and buffalo hides. The Mescalero roamed freely throughout the Southwest including Texas, Arizona, Chihuahua, México and Sonora, México.


Today, three sub-tribes, Mescalero, Lipan and Chiricahua, make up the Mescalero Apache Tribe. We live on this reservation of 463,000 acres of what once was the heartland of our people’s aboriginal homelands. Read more



Mescalero painted boy, photo entitled Long Walk of the Navajo. The people were marched over 350-mile (560 km) during the winter of 1864 and incarcerated at Bosque Redondo, New Mexico with the Mescalero Apache.



Mescalero or Mescalero Apache is an Apache tribe of Southern Athabaskan Native Americans. The tribe is federally recognized as the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southcentral New Mexico. In the nineteenth century, the Mescalero opened their reservation to other Apache bands, such as the Mimbreno and the Chiricahua who had been imprisoned in Florida, and the Lipan Apache.




Originally established on May 27, 1873,[1] by Executive Order of President Ulysses S. Grant, the reservation was first located near Fort Stanton. The present reservation was established in 1883. It has a land area of 1,862.463 km² (719.101 sq mi), almost entirely in Otero County. The 463,000 acre reservation lies on the eastern flank of the Sacramento Mountains and borders the Lincoln National Forest. A small unpopulated section is in Lincoln County just southwest of the city of Ruidoso. U.S. Route 70 is the major highway through the reservation.


Ranching and tourism are major sources of income for the tribe. The mountains and foothills are forested with pines; resource and commercial development is managed carefully by the Mescalero Apache Tribal Council. The Mescalero Apache developed a cultural center near the tribal headquarters on U.S. Route 70 in the reservation's largest community of Mescalero. On display, is important historical information and artifacts of the tribe. The tribe has another, larger museum on the western flank of the Sacramento Mountains in Dog Canyon, south of Alamogordo.


The tribe developed and owns the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino ("IMG"). As part of the IMG operation, the tribe also owns and manages Ski Apache the southernmost major ski area in North America. In January 2012 Ski Apache celebrated its 50th anniversary.


The ski area is situated adjacent to the massive peak of Sierra Blanca a 12,003-foot (3,659 m) mountain.[2] It is the southernmost alpine peak in the Continental United States over 12,000 feet in elevation, and is part of the Rocky Mountains and the Sacramento Mountains. Sierra Blanca peak, located on the reservation, is sacred ground for the Mescalero Apache Tribe and requires a permit for access. Read more


Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Jones, 411 U.S. 145 (1973), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that a state could tax tribal, off-reservation business activities but could not impose a tax on tribal land, which was exempt from all forms of property taxes. more

New Mexico v. Mescalero Apache Tribe, 462 U.S. 324 (1983), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the application of New Mexico's laws to on-reservation hunting and fishing by nonmembers of the Tribe is preempted by the operation of federal law.[1] Read more