Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell | Opinion
Opinion: Indian plaintiff won't see trust settlement


"Over the course of a long and proud life, Oklahoma native daughter Mildred Imoch Cleghorn, a Fort Sill Apache, understood firsthand that two wrongs do not make a right.

But had she lived to mark her 99th birthday last week, Cleghorn would have witnessed at least one wrong perpetrated against her people made right — in part — by the U.S. government.

Throughout her long life, Cleghorn never forgot the original wrong done by the government to the Fort Sill Apaches nor how, in 1910, she was born into prisoner of war status. Her grandfather had followed Geronimo into battle, and her grandparents and parents were imprisoned with the Chiricahua Apaches in Florida, Alabama, and at Fort Sill until finally freed in 1913-14.

Her family was one of only 75 tribal members who had chosen to remain at Fort Sill instead of relocating in 1913 to the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico. Before their release the Fort Sill Apaches were required to accept 160-acre allotments with a house, a well and a year's rations. Only two families, however, actually received 160 acres. Most received fewer than 80 acres.

Cleghorn later recalled that her first moments of freedom were spent in a horse-drawn wagon as her family pulled away from Fort Sill on their way to an isolated 40-acre plot near Apache. "

Get the Story:
Julie DelCour: Riding into the cavalry and surviving (The Tulsa World 12/13)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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