The Long Walk of Tears of the Navajo

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  • Published : September 25, 2012
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• Description

The Long Walk: Tears of the Navajo is a documentary by award-winning producer and director John Howe. This poignant film tells the story of an attempted cultural stripping of the Navajo people, a story that needs to be committed to memory as part of this nation's imperative and important past. The resilient Navajo people are still here today despite their story, and they deserve to be remembered as part of the initial founding fabric of the United States. This movie reveals the movement of the U.S. against the Navajo tribes in the early 1860s, which transformed the Navajo’s life of peace in to one of misery. More than eight thousand Navajos were marched at gunpoint through the scorched desert with nothing but the clothes on their backs to a desolate reservation next to the New Mexico border, Bosque Redondo. Hundreds of Navajo died during the march and also during the four years of forced isolation. This catastrophe is simply recalled as “The Long Walk.""The landscape of the American West is washed by a thousand tears," pronounces John Howe. "The Long Walk of the Navajo is a story that should never be forgotten." He is utterly correct.

• Interpretation
This in depth film shows, with facts and the historical memories of actual witnesses or descendants of people, how The Long Walk of the Navajos is the most deeply traumatic and problematic incident in Navajo history. It is estimated that a large number of Native Americans passed away during the scorched-earth campaign conducted by Colonel Kit Carson in 1863 and 1864. Approximately 8,000 Navajos were starved into obedience, and once they surrendered, forced to walk several hundred miles to a forty-square-mile reservation on the New Mexico border that had been instituted for them, along with the enslavement of over a hundred Mescalero Apaches. Once on this cruel reservation, the Navajos and Apaches were held captive under inconceivable conditions, where rape, abuse,...
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