Reservation  life

Life at San Carlos was harsh and brutal. The people were not used to the heat of the land and the desert landscape. They were forbidden to speak their traditional languages or practice traditional ceremonies in song and dance. They were not allowed to gather medicinal and edible plants, nuts and berries or hunt for wild game. Instead, they were given rations of white flour, salt, sugar, lard and coffee; food that their bodies were not accustomed to. They were given blankets believed to be laced with Small pox disease from which many died.


Children were forcibly taken away from their parents and grandparents and forced to attend Government Indian Schools far away – sometimes never to be seen or heard from again. Children had their long hair cut, were made to wear similar uniforms and if caught speaking their native tongue, had their mouths washed out with soap.


However, many learned to read and write the English language and learned other day-to-day living skills. Men learned how to raise cattle and worked fields of agriculture; raising hay and feed for the cattle. Women took up their old lifestyle of weaving baskets and learned how to sew clothing. Also, using the commodity rations the women invented new recipes for meals. This Commodity Government Issue, was the birth of the “Indian Fry Bread” because the women did not know how else to use the white flour.


Fort Whipple Founded


Fort Verde Founded


Fort McDowell Founded


Rio Verde Reservation Established


San Carlos Reservation Established


Exodus to San Carlos Reservation


The Yavapai or Tonto Wars


Yavapai and Apache Begin to Return