Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr.

founder and leader, Director | Apache Stronghold, Gaan Bike Goz aa
Pronouns: he/him

Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr. is a former Peridot District Councilman and Tribal Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which consists of nearly 17,000 tribal members on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. San Carlos stretches across Gila, Graham and Pinal Counties, totaling 1.8 million acres and is situated in the southeastern portion of the State. 

Wendsler was born on July 10, 1959 on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. He was raised in the traditional Apache way of life. He graduated from the Globe High School in May 1978 and attended Merritt College in Oakland, California, attended Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona, and completed the State of Arizona Banking Academy. Dr. Nosie specializes in Bioethics, Sustainability and Global Public Health. 

Following college, Wendsler Nosie returned to San Carlos and began his employment as the Tribal Work Experience Program Director in 1982. In 1988, he was elected to Tribal Council for the Peridot District, which governs the San Carlos Apache Tribe through its Amended Constitution and By-Laws, being federally recognized in 1954 through the U.S. Indian Reorganization Act. 

Wendsler Nosie then founded Rural Opportunities of Arizona (ROA) in 1990, an individually owned business owned and operated by a tribal member, which provided opportunities for tribal members to become skilled in trade and trained for jobs throughout Arizona. 

In 1995, Wendsler established Apaches for Cultural Preservation and founded the Spirit of the Mountain Runners in 2000, which is a traditional runners organization. 

Wendsler Nosie was re-elected as the Tribal Council Representative for the Peridot District in 2004 to serve another four-year term. It was then he was inspired to run for Tribal Chairman. Then in 2006, he was elected by the San Carlos Apache People as their Tribal Chairman. 

He was recognized in 2006 and given an Honorable Mention by Wake Forest University of Winston-Salem, North Carolina for his coordination bringing students from Wake Forest to the San Carlos Apache Reservation for a cultural integration program and was also recognized and honored in 2007 by the National Council of Churches from New York City for his accomplishments in Indian Country as a leader of spirituality among youth and organizing many events for over fifteen years, which includes having worldwide participation of sacred runs in protection of Native American culture, tradition and heritage. The National Council of Churches comprises over 30 million membership throughout the nation. 

Wendsler Nosie Sr. became an executive committee member for the AZ State Democratic Party, District One and introduced the resolution which established the AZ Native American Democratic Caucus. He was the first Native American electorate member of the National Electoral College for Arizona for Obama’s first term as President. 

He established the Apache Messenger Newspaper in 2011 and owns and operates the newspaper currently. 

He received the honor of being added to the Globe High School Hall of Fame for Sports. 

In 2010 and again in 2012, Wendsler Nosie Sr. was re-elected as Tribal Council for the Peridot District. Wendsler has been instrumental over the course of his political career with the Tribe in establishing, the Apache Gold Casino, Bashas, and currently, the Peridot District Enterprises which include Apache Burger, True Value Hardware, PDEE shopping center, etc. etc. 

He has also been appointed as the San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Director and has marketed and expanded the Hunting and Recreational area of the Tribe. 

In 2013, Wendsler Nosie Sr. received the Presidential Award from National Progressive Baptist Convention for his fight for human rights for all Native Americans. He is the first Native American to receive such an award. 

Dr. Wendsler Nosie recently accepted a position with the American University of Sovereign Nations as a Professor in the Practice of Indigenous Knowledge, where he will be teaching a range of Masters and Doctoral program courses to students from around the world. 

Wendsler is married to Theresa Beard Nosie, a member of the Navajo Nation. They reside in Peridot, Arizona on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and have six children and 18 grandchildren. 

Wendsler is a long distance runner and has participated in numerous marathons and half marathons over the years. He is dedicated to the preservation and protection of Native American culture, artifacts, history religion, and tradition. He is the founder and leader of the Apache Stronghold and Director of Gaan Bike Goz aa where he continues to advocate for indigenous religious and human rights and protecting the future for our next generations to come.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Protecting The Sacred — An Intimate Discussion on Spirituality and Land Sovereignty

The goal of the conversation is to uplift the land defense efforts to Protect Oakflat and other efforts in Arizona in addition to uplifting the intersections of spirituality and land and their exploitation and how art can be used as a tool to reinforce multiracial solidarity.

Moderator(s): Kevin J. Allis Speakers: Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr.