Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


april 21, 2001 - Issue 34



Udall Bill Would Remember the Long Walk


Photo: Navajo Girls at the Bosque Redondo.
Museum of New Mexico Photo Archive #38208.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., introduced legislation Tuesday that would officially recognize and commemorate the Navajo Long Walk.

The bill would designate the Long Walk as a national historic trail.

"The Long Walk remains one of the most tragic events in our nation's history," Udall said. "Amazingly, today very few Americans realize the atrocities that were committed against our native peoples by the U.S. government.

"This legislation intends to acknowledge this travesty by declaring the Long Walk a national historic trail. It is important to do so that present and future generations of Americans will learn from this somber episode."

Shortly after the Civil War, about 8,000 Navajos were forced to march from Canyon de Chelly in Arizona to Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico, where they were imprisoned.

It is estimated that more than 3,000 Navajos died during the four-year episode which is known as the Long Walk.

If the bill is passed, highways along the Long Walk route will receive special markers. The route will also be listed in tourist guides, Udall spokesman Glen Loveland said.

This could provide a positive economic boost to communities that are near the Long Walk trail route, Loveland said.

Udall is planning to make this bill a top priority, Loveland added.

"It's simple, shouldn't be considered controversial and it needs to happen," the Udall spokesman said.

The bill has been referred to the House Resources Committee of which Udall is a member.

The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah.

 The Long Walk


Bosque Redondo




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