In 1864, Navajo people were forced to walk over 450 miles to Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico. Imprisoned on a 40-square mile reservation for four long years the people suffered from hunger, loneliness, illnesses, and severe environmental conditions. On June 1, 1868, U. S. officials and Navajo leaders reached an agreement, allowing the Navajos to return to a portion of their original lands located in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The Long Walk has been collected in historical literature by non-Navajo authors. Absent from the literature is the Navajo perspective. The audience will hear the Navajo elders’ version of the Long Walk in this presentation.
Dr. Evangeline Parsons Yazzie is a Professor Emerita at Northern Arizona University. She obtained a Masters degree in Bilingual Multicultural Education and a Doctorate in Education. Retiring after teaching 24 years, Evangeline became a writer of novels and short stories. She wrote a novel based upon the Navajo Long Walk and is the first of four that tell the story of a Navajo family and their struggles. She also wrote an award winning children’s book about the Navajo Long Walk titled, Little Woman Warrior Who Came Home. Evangeline is a Navajo woman, originally from Hardrock on the Navajo Reservation.