The 2019 Pioneer Days Celebration will bring the valley together Saturday evening with the traditional parade followed by food, games, and the fireworks display. This year, we are honored to have Chesley Goseyun Wilson as this year’s Parade Marshall.
Chesley Goseyun Wilson was born in Bylas in 1932. His is a life of selfless service. A man of many talents, he has been at one time or another a maker and performer of the Apache fiddle, singer, dancer, medicine man, silversmith, model and actor. The young Chesley Goseyun Wilson was skilled as a wrangler and cowboy. The U.S. Army sent him to Korea for two years, introducing him to many experiences different from the reservation.
A talented actor and model, his last movie was The Revenant (2015). His modeling works included art magazines, other publications and advertisements for Wrangler Western Wear.
He is the last active Apache violin maker. In 1989 he received the National Heritage Fellowship, this nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. He still continues to work at keeping Apache crafts, customs and ceremonies alive. One of his art pieces is in the Smithsonian. An active member of the Apache Medicine Men Society, he continues to speak to Apache youth, encouraging them to avoid drugs and alcohol. He encourages then to incorporate traditional Apache ways into their lives.
We are indeed fortunate to have Chesley Goseyun Wilson as the 2019 Pioneer Day’s Grand Marshall.