EXCERPT from The Navajo Long Walk: 140 Years Later by by LTC John Umberger (photo by Umberger) in VIVAcini! 02 November 2012

It was cold and the wind blew hard. Wrapped in
blankets, and hunched over, they limped into Fort
Sumner. A common, heart-rending scene 140 years
ago when the United States Army brought groups
of captured Apaches and Navajo to a desolate reservation
on the eastern plains of New Mexico.
The Navajo call this tragic journey from their
homeland to the Bosque Redondo Reservation the
Long Walk. The Long Walk was so devastating to
the Navajo, or Dine’ (as they call themselves), that
to this day the Navajo record all their history as
occurring before or aft er the Long Walk.
I became interested in the Long Walk when the
U.S. government declassified the contributions
that Navajo Code Talkers made during World War
II. I had heard about the Navajo captivity but in
most history books the Long Walk was just a footnote
in the conquest of the American West.

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