Visitors will experience the reservation’s unique beauty, while learning about tribal history and culture.
Activities include wildlife viewing, howling with the wolves–“with special reverence for the endangered Mexican gray wolf,” Beazley said–and learning traditional campfire cooking. “We also wanted to incorporate the cultural aspects of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. We have elders come up, tell traditional stories, traditional songs. We also have horseback riding,” Beazley told Public News Service.
The eco-tour will also offer cultural experiences including sweat lodge, traditional crafts and survival skills. The tour emphasizes the sacred Apache belief in the connection between the human soul, the land and all living things, Beazley said.
Beazley grew up on tribal lands, raised by her grandmother. Elders shared with her the cultural connection between wolves and the tribe, she said. Warriors used to sing wolf songs before battle. “They highly respected these wolves, in the way they travel and the way they hunted. In the past they used to try to imitate the wolf. And there was even a wolf song. They would sing the wolf songs so they can be like the wolf.”
Proceeds from the wilderness journeys go toward the tribe’s wolf-management program, “which helps to ease conflicts between the wolves and tribal cattle ranchers, paying for things such as fencing, habitat protection and occasional livestock losses,” reported Public News Service.
The Apache tribe offers other tourism adventures like rafting the Salt River Canyon, camping and hiking in the White Mountains and “world record” elk hunting, according to the tribe’s website.