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Holly
01-06-2012, 02:31 AM
Today in history: 1 June 1868

The Long Walk of the Navajo, also called the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo, refers to the 1864 deportation and attempted ethnic cleansing of the Navajo people by the U.S. Government. Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their reservation in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. Some fifty-three different forced marches occurred between August 1864 and the end of 1866. Sometimes the term "Long Walk" includes all the time the Navajo were away from the land of their ancestors.

At least 200 died along the 450-mile trek that took over 18 days to travel on foot. Between 8,000 and 9,000 people were settled on an area of 40 square miles, with a peak population of 9,022 by the spring of 1865.

Other tribes were moved there and the conditions were deplorable. In 1865 some Navajo began leaving and by 1867 the remaining Navajo refused to plant a crops.

The Treaty of Bosque Redondo between the United States and many of the Navajo leaders was concluded at Ft. Sumner (Bosque Redondo) on June 1, 1868. Some of the provisions included establishing a reservation, restrictions on raiding, a resident Indian Agent and agency, compulsory education for children, the supply of seeds, agricultural implements and other provisions, rights of the Navajos to be protected, establishment of railroads and forts, compensation to tribal members, and arrangements for the return of Navajos to the reservation established by the treaty. The Navajo agreed for 10 years to send their children to school and the US government agreed to establish schools with teachers for every 30 Navajo children.

On June 18, 1868, the once-scattered bands of Navajo who called themselves Diné, set off together on the return journey, the "Long Walk" home. This is one of the few instances where the U.S. government relocated a tribe to their traditional boundaries. The Navajos were granted 3.5 million acres of land inside their four sacred mountains. The Navajos also became a more cohesive tribe after the Long Walk and were able to successfully increase the size of their reservation since then, to over 16 million acres. Today, the Navajo is the largest tribe in the U.S.

Navajo Reservation - YouTube