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Monument Valley - Sacred Vision (Homage to the Navajo Nation)

The Navajo Nation (Diné Bikéyah in the Navajo language) is a semi-autonomous Native American homeland covering about 26,000 square miles (67,339 square kilometres, 17 million acres), occupying all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction within the United States.


Prior to the Long Walk of the Navajo, traditional Navajo government was based upon regional communities and extended family leaders who worked together by consensus. Europeans have tried to overlay their notions of government upon the Navajo for centuries with the Diné sometimes accepting change as needed.


In 1863 and 1864, as the Anglo settlers' demand for land grew, the United States government forced more than 8,500 Navajo men, women and children to march in harsh winter conditions for hundreds of miles to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico (present-day Ft. Sumner) as part of President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act. Some Navajos were able to escape and hide at Navajo Mountain, along the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, and in the Grand Canyon. As the march went on, the Navajo were forced to leave their elderly and young children behind to die. Five months later, the Navajos arrived at Bosque Redondo. Many Navajos died at the wretched prison camp, due to poor living conditions. The Navajos were imprisoned for about six years, and released in May 1868. Bosque Redondo had been proved as a miserable failure, because of poor planning, disease, crop infestation and generally poor conditions for agriculture.


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Taken on May 22, 2009