As descendants of John Rope and on behalf of our large family (Tu’gian - White Water clan) who resides in Bylas, San Carlos, Whiteriver and other parts of the state and country, we would like to thank the San Carlos Apache Veterans’ Association for recognizing and honoring the Apache Scouts.
According to our family legend, the Apache Scouts were not just ordinary men as many of them were spiritual leaders, clan leaders, spiritual healers, warriors and family men. Many of them possessed a vast knowledge of the natural and spiritual world, and many foresaw the coming changes and challenges of the European progression.
According to our grandparents who were children or grandchildren of John Rope, the decision was simple for the scouts. Do they fight the European progression with weapons or do they use their spiritual knowledge to progress as a society and secure the Apache way of life for all future generations?
Clearly if they took the first option there would be no San Carlos reservation today. We would all be living in another state with no Apache language, no culture, no ceremonies, no natural resources, and many would have perished from sickness, greatly diminishing our numbers.
As children, our grandparents were simply told to use “higher education” as a tool to fight the modern battles of the future which is to fight for our rights, our freedom, our lands, and to provide an honest living for their families.
As children, our grandparents were told to never let go of their Apache culture (language, ceremonies, history, traditions, medicines, food, crafts, etc.) as this was our God given identity no one will ever take away from us.
As a result of these teachings (passed down from our grandparents and parents) we have many armed service members in our family who have proudly served our country, tribe and community. We have family members who have become leaders (chairman/woman, council members and school board members) to serve our people and communities.
We have family members who have become spiritual leaders of both the Apache Traditional and Christian faith. We have family members who exercise both the traditional and Christian faiths who love their family dearly.
We have many beautiful young women in our family who have represented the San Carlos Apache Tribe as tribal royalties. We have many family members who have earned college degrees or currently in college seeking to attain a college degree.
As descendants of John Rope we are a proud family who have utilized the teachings, knowledge and foresight of the Apache scouts to progress with the ever changing times. As a family we will continue to serve our purpose to make life better for our families, communities, and Tribe.
We are extending a special invitation to all our extended John Rope family to join us in the upcoming 46th Annual San Carlos Veteran’s parade to honor all our past, present and future San Carlos and Bylas Apache Veterans.
We encourage all other scout families in San Carlos, Bylas and Whiteriver to stand proudly by your family heritage and history. God bless our country, our Apache veterans and their families.
Louie Lorenzo, White Water clan (Tu’gian)
Descendent of John Rope