FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2018
Mary Ann Hatchitt
(Fort Sumner, New Mexico) –Two full days of activity are planned at the Bosque Redondo Memorial Site at Fort Sumner June 8 and 9 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Navajo Treaty of 1868, the formation of the Navajo Nation, and the 50th anniversary of the Fort Sumner Historic Site The events include a seven-mile walk June 9 from the memorial to Fort Sumner High School, oral histories from direct descendants of Long Walk survivors, tribal dances and a rare opportunity to see the long-missing copy of the Treaty.
“The two-days of events at Bosque Redondo are scheduled to follow Navajo vice president Jonathan Nez’s 400-mile run from Fort Sumner to Window Rock and the Navajo Nation’s commemoration events of the Treaty anniversary and the Dine’ people’s return to their homelands,” said Patrick Moore, Director of New Mexico Historic sites which oversees the Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner.
“We are especially honored that before they begin the 19-day journey, vice president Nez and his team will participate in a day of prayer at the Bosque Redondo site starting at 4:00 p.m. the day after our annual Gourd Dance,” Moore said. The Third Annual Gourd Dance gathering this Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m., Joe Tohonnie Jr. and the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers will be performing their fire dance to close the ceremonies.
Nez and his runners will leave from the Fort Sumner Community House at 7:00 a.m., Monday, May 14. The Bosque Redondo Memorial will remain closed, per the site’s usual admission schedule- closed Mondays & Tuesdays, open Wednesdays through Sunday. More information about vice president Nez’s run can be found in at this link: http://m.nhonews.com/news/2018/may/01/may-14-run-highlight-navajo-resilience/?templates=mobile
The public is cordially invited to participate in the weekend of free activities at the Bosque Redondo Memorial site at Fort Sumner to commemorate this solemn anniversary of the Signing of the Navajo Treaty of 1868 and the sacrifice, fortitude, strength and great resilience of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache people. This landmark treaty greatly influenced the recovery of both tribes and established their autonomy. In the period since the Navajo Treaty of 1868 was signed, the Navajo Nation has grown from the original 5,200 square miles to 27,413 square miles today with a population of nearly 300,000 and the Mescalero Apache to 4,000.
"The Department of Cultural Affairs is proud to be part of this solemn anniversary, which both acknowledges this shameful episode in our history, and recognizes and celebrates the remarkable strength, tenacity, resilience and significant contributions that have come from the descendants, as well as those who endured The Long Walk,” said Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica N. Gonzales. “We are also honored to commemorate the signing of this treaty, which established the Navajo Nation as a sovereign nation."
During the June events, author and historian C.P. ‘Kitty” Weaver and her husband, David, will be present with a third copy of the 17-page treaty, which will be on view. The third copy of the treaty was recently authenticated by the National Archives. Weaver is the great-grandniece of Indian Peace Commissioner Samuel F. Tappan (1831–1913), who, along with William T. Sherman, negotiated with Navajo leaders Barboncito, Manuelito, and others, to draft the Navajo Treaty of 1868. For more information about the third treaty: http://media.newmexicoculture.org/release/743/national-archives-confirm-authenticity-o
Throughout the two-day commemoration at the Bosque Redondo Memorial, Native artisans will be on-site offering traditional jewelry, weavings and food.
On Friday, June 8, the commemorative weekend events begin with an opportunity for a sneak peek of the new exhibition at Bosque Redondo from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with feedback sessions held throughout the day.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, attendees have a break to purchase lunch available from on-site vendors.
From 1-3 p.m., there will be a series of speakers including: Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum; Holly Houghton, Mescalero Apache Tribal Historic Preservation Office; exhibit designers Eldon Potter/Bryan Potter of Bryan Potter Design; Morgen Young, project historian and historical research associate, and Jeff Pappas, State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.
From 3- 4:30 p.m., there will be a sharing of oral histories. Among those sharing their family stories will be Suzanne Hudson, a Navajo tribal member who tells the stories handed down from her fourth and third great grandmothers who were at the Bosque Redondo concentration camp. Suzanne tells her ancestors’ stories through pictorial quilts she has crafted.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon will be the formal commemoration of the Navajo Treaty of 1868 with speakers from the Navajo Nation, Mescalaro Apache Tribe, and New Mexico government. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. lunch will available from on-site vendors. At noon there will be cultural dances and presentations. From 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. there will be a commemorative 7-mile walk of remembrance from the Bosque Redondo Memorial to Fort Sumer High School. Visitors are encouraged to participate.
About New Mexico Historic Sites: http://nmhistoricsites.org/ On March 14, 1931, the New Mexico Historic Site system was established by an Act for the Preservation of the Scientific Resources of New Mexico, to "declare by public proclamation that historic and prehistoric structures and other objects of scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the State of New Mexico, shall be state monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof such parcels of land as may be necessary to the proper care and management of the objects to be protected." Under the direction of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, six sites are open to the public: Coronado, Fort Selden, Fort Stanton, Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial, Jemez, and Lincoln. The Los Luceros Historic Property is open to the public during scheduled events and by appointment (505) 476-1130.
In 2004, the J. Paul Taylor Family bequeathed the Barela-Reynolds House and Property on the Mesilla Plaza to the Department of Cultural Affairs. Still serving as J. Paul Taylor’s private home, the property will become a Historic Site after his passing. Events, news releases and images about activities at New Mexico Historic Sites, and other Department of Cultural Affairs divisions can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.