Geronimo died Feb. 17, 1909, age about 80. In 1897, he wrote to President McKinley: “It is my land, my home, my father’s land, to which I now ask to be allowed to return. I want to spend my last days there, and be buried among those mountains. If this could be I might die in peace, feeling that my people, placed in their native homes, would increase in numbers, rather than diminish as at present, and that our name would not become extinct. ”
But like Nana, Geronimo died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Two bills that would have represented a very small step toward bringing their descendants home to New Mexico both failed in the state legislature this year. Ironically, chief opposition to their return comes not from the whites who evicted them 130 years ago but from their cousins the Mescalero, who are afraid a new casino would cut into the profits from their Inn of the Mountain Gods.