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Apache Drum Beat
According to American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1925-1970 (Daniel F. Littlefield and James W. Parins, 1984), the Apache Drum Beat was first published on December 30, 1959 and was started by the Education Committee of the San Carlos Tribe in San Carlos, Arizona. Six issues appeared between December 1959 and March 1962, during which time the title was changed to Apache Drumbeat. By October 1962, the newspaper was published monthly. Littlefield and Parins noted that the Drumbeat renewed its predecessor, the Apache Newsletter [LCCN: sn 99068139], which had started publication in the 1950s.
The Drumbeat was initially printed by mimeograph, often with line drawings on the front page and hand-drawn advertisements. It was typically eight to twelve pages long. The newspaper regularly featured news about students, schools, and education. An issue in 1960 described a visit by high school students from the reservation to the University of Arizona (UA) campus in Tucson as guests of the Amerind Club, an Indian student organization at the UA. The March 1962 edition was a special “Issue on Education,” and included the Education Committee’s progress report for 1958-1962.
The newspaper reported on tribal council news, developments on the reservation such as new roads and tourism, and information about employment, law enforcement, and general news from around San Carlos and Bylas, Arizona. Youth activities were a focus of the paper, from stories about boys’ summer work camps, the local Boy Scout and Brownie troops, to Little League Baseball, and news from the Recreation Committee.
An editorial box appeared in the November 1962 issue indicating that the newspaper was published by the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council. It recognized those who worked on the newspaper, including high school students who helped produce the paper. At that time, the Drumbeat could be purchased for 10 cents per copy or $1.00 per year. Starting in this issue, the newspaper had several pages of church news.
Starting in June 1963, the Drumbeat was published by printing press. Along with a new format, an editorial board was appointed. This issue included the newspaper’s “Editiorial Policy”: “The Editorial Board is primarily concerned that the Apache Drumbeat serve the entire reservation community in the best possible manner.” They aimed to “print all stories submitted to us by residents of the reservation and by all members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, whether they live on the reservation or not,” but contributions by anonymous sources were declined. They also stated that they may have to shorten contributed stories for space and that authors should “refrain from discussing matters of doctrine” when submitting church news.
The December 1963 issue included a photograph of most of the Apache Drumbeat Board of Directors and staff, including Buck Kitcheyan, board chairman; Inez Hill, editorial coordinator; and Cecelia Sneezy, treasurer, who had been involved with the newspaper for some time. According to Littlefield and Parins, by 1967, the newspaper was run by the San Carlos Apache Community Action Program, funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity, but the Apache Drumbeat ceased publication by the end of that year.
Essay provided by University of Arizona LibrariesDates of Publication1959-1967Frequency of PublicationMonthlyPlace of PublicationSan Carlos Apache Reservation, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.