The Mescalero Apache People have rich historical ties to Otero Mesa. The Otero Mesa region contains ancient dwelling places of Mescalero Apache ancestors as well as sites sacred to the Mescalero Apache People.
In November 2010, several elders from the Mescalero Apache elders formed a group to advocate for permanent protection of Otero Mesa as a National Monument. Their mission statement is below:
Our mission is to support the movement to preserve Otero Mesa as a National Monument and insure that the history of the Mescalero Apache Peopleâ€™s sacred connection to Otero Mesa is recognized. We envision Otero Mesa as a place for Apache youth programs that will inspire them through a deeper understanding of the unique lifeway of their ancestors.
Ted Rodriguez is Headman of the Mescalero Traditional Elders Council and serves on various Tribal Committees.
Houston Murphy is Headman of one of the four Mescalero Apache Mountain Spirits Dance Group and is an athletic coach at the Mescalero School.
Larry Shay served 19 years on the Mescalero Apache Tribal Council and is the Director of the Mescalero Apache Arts program.
Alfred LaPaz served 6 years on the Tribal Council and 30 years in Law Enforcement.
Styve Homnick is the only non-tribal member. He has supervised various Mescalero youth programs since 1970. He is an accomplished musician.