Cliff Castle Casino-Hotel is owned and operated by the Yavapai-Apache Nation, a federally recognized Tribe. The modern Yavapai-Apache Nation is an amalgamation of two distinct cultures that have inhabited the Verde Valley and surrounding country for countless centuries prior to the American conquest of the Southwest.
The Yavapai are Yuman-speaking people related to Hualapai, Supai and other tribes southwards along the Colorado River. The Dilzhe'e Apache are Athapaskan-speaking people related linguistically to the Navajo to the north. The members of these tribes who survived the wars and diseases of the 19th century were officially merged under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 into the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, which became the Yavapai-Apache Nation in 1992.
The ancestors of both the Yavapai and Dilzhe'e Apache were hunting and gathering people who lived with a light foot and silent hand on the landscape, leaving barely a physical trace in the record for archaeologists to study. Ancestors of the Yavapai-Apache Nation moved in a seasonal rhythm determined by available resources, game and personal preference. Yavapai and Dilzhe'e Apaches believed in utilizing mostly perishable materials so that any evidence of a person's life could return to the natural world. Their lifestyle and material culture (artifacts) relied heavily on wood, hides, furs, plant fibers, hair and sinew; however, stone hand tools and arrow points were also used.