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Scarred Remains of the Sand Creek Massacre

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Sand Creek Memorial today | Michelle Le Blanc

Sand Creek Memorial today | Michelle Le Blanc

When bison roamed the high plains of southeastern Colorado cold winds blew and Cheyenne and Arapaho tribesmen crouched in wait for the opportunity to kill and to sustain their families and the larger tribe for another season.

Today another cold wind moans across the same plains with the groans of the murdered and the mutilated. The bison have been hunted out of existence and the tribes, or what little is left of them, have been sequestered away from white man’s manifest destiny and fallible, futile dreams.

While the nation stood divided against itself over human and natural resources and battled for dominance in the east, a similar battle raged between resources on the plains. Except the perceived enemy was the other, people not like the white settlers. In pursuit of continuing independence and freedom from war, white settlers left the east in waves to escape the civil war and to plant their flagged stakes in the new land and a promise, though oftentimes an empty promise, of a brighter future. Justified and encouraged by the U. S. Government and the railroads, they moved in droves across the plains. The gold rush in the Rocky Mountains was also in full tilt.

The indigenous people of the plains were themselves battling for territory with each other, because they were all being pushed aside and pushed down by the white man. Drought conditions dominated in 1863 making game scarce as well as winter provisions. But even more brutal days lay ahead for all involved.

As Chiefs were trying to secure the peace, Colorado Governor John Evans called for men to fight to secure the Western Plains. In weeks the men would attack.

As Chiefs were trying to secure the peace, Colorado Governor John Evans called for men to fight to secure the Western Plains. In weeks the men would attack.

In the spring of 1864 four Arapaho Indian renegades killed the Hungate family who homesteaded 30 miles southeast of Denver. Because Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans’s unfounded fear of an Indian War brewing against the whites, this brutal incident spurred him to request funds and guns for a citizen militia to fight the Indians. However, Evans had diametrically opposed interests: as governor he was charged with protecting all of those who lived in Colorado Territory, native and settlers alike, but he was also a successful business man who had worked to bring the railroad to Denver. The natives stood in the way of that endeavor. His need to remove obstacles for his financial ventures lead to quick solutions to complex problems and instigated violence against the predominantly non-violent Cheyenne and Arapaho bands in Colorado.

A long-time friend of Governor Evans was Colonel John Chivington, who had successfully defeated the Confederate Army during the Battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico in 1862, had not seen battle nor the subsequent glory of winning in two years. He and Evans shared the philosophy of manifest destiny and worked for the manpower and weapons to support it in Colorado Territory. In August, Evans proclaimed all natives to be “at war and hostile to all whites;” the next day he called for the formation of a citizens’ militia, the 100 Days Men, and put them under Chivington’s command. They were later referred to as the Bloodless Third.

The confluence of the inner conflicts of two clashing societies, two vastly different values systems, created the perfect storm for not only loss and betrayal but a near complete and on-going genocide fueled by power, technology, and ignorance.

That confluence was the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29, 1864, where nearly 150 peacefully camping Cheyenne and Arapaho people were slaughtered – mostly women, children and the elderly – even as Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle waved the white flag. At the time, Governor Evans was running for Congress should Colorado gain statehood and Chivington was running for Congress. A show of strength and aggression would bolster their campaigns and crown them war heroes. Before dawn, Chivington ordered more than 700 soldiers to assault the sleeping camp of 500 with pistols, rifles, and howitzers, the precursor to the machine gun. Few of the natives had such weapons and, in fact, had been told by officials at Fort Weld earlier in the year they would be safe camped on Sand Creek.

Sand Creek Howling Wolf

When Black Kettle visited Fort Lyon in the autumn of 1864, he did so with a posture of cooperation and with shame for the attacks carried out against the white settlers by disagreeable members of his tribe. In pursuit of food for their children and elders, as well as revenge for a series of broken treaties or disagreements with their leaders, rogue bands of Indians attacked settlers and towns. But they were the exception, not the rule. An over simplified perspective about the indigenous peoples of the Americas worked against Black Kettle and his people camped on Sand Creek.

The official massacre site–long held as sacred ground by the Cheyenne and Arapaho descendents of massacre survivors–was identified by the National Park Service in cooperation with tribal descendants of survivors, landowners, and historical archaeologists. After two years of intense study of the archaeological site, legislation established the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site near present-day Lamar, Colorado. Only a stone grave marker and a simple fence indicate anything happened below the bluffs where they stand.

Many of the soldiers who participated on that cold November day were temporary 100-days’ men, who had enlisted for a short time in return for food and supplies after they were disappointed by their gold claims farther north. Though their commissions were about to expire, they had yet to see any battles, unlike their brothers in arms in the east who had fought in the War between the States, fought at Gettysburg, and watched Atlanta fall.

George Bent, mixed-race son of pioneer William Bent and his Cheyenne wife Owl Woman, was caught between the white world of his father and the Indian world of his mother. George’s half-brother, Charley, who was rescued by Silas Soule, the Colorado Cavalry captain who refused to order his men to attack at Sand Creek, survived the attack, in part scouted by their brother Robert. Both joined the Dog Soldiers and sought revenge through continuous raids upon whites. Charley died in that pursuit, while George eventually attempted to forge peace among the warring factions.

While Amendments 24 and 25 of the United State Constitution, passed in 1868 and 1871 respectively, protecting the rights of recently freed slaves and provided them equal protection under the law, no such protection was afforded to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In fact, reservations had been established in Oklahoma for the Cheyenne and Arapahoe in 1867 and they lost their sovereignty in 1871.

Eventually, after much bloodshed wrought through advanced weapons’ technology, ruthlessness and lies prevailed.

George Bent died in 1918, accepted by neither Indian nor white, neither rich nor poor, but seeing his people forced on to reservations in Oklahoma, far from Sand Creek and Lamar.

The Colorado Plains are no longer home to anything Cheyenne or Arapaho except place names, school mascots, and scattered and remote memorials. The farms and ranches, which took over bison range and hunting grounds and nomadic homes, are struggling. The avarice for natural and economic resources, not to mention glorified egos wrought by simplistic solutions, destroyed a culture, removed it almost completely, and leaves history with a throbbing scar and little else except continued struggle for survival.

Even on a 100-degree summer day on the dry plains, one shivers at its stark beauty and memories of violent days. Cattle roam where bison grazed, wind blows the moisture out of the soil, and other battles are being fought. Ironically, southeastern Colorado is one of the poorest, most desolate places in the state and is struggling to hold on to its ability to make a living in the winds that play hot and cold across the plains.

The Sand Creek Massacre and its place in American and Colorado History.

1861

  • Colorado Territory established by Congress
  • Coast-to-Coast telegraph line completed

1862

  • Congress passes the Pacific Railroad Act to build a rail line along the 42nd parallel and provides “public” lands and subsidies for building
  • Homestead Act Passed which deeded homesteaders 160 acres of land which they had improved and stayed on for at least five years
  • Battle of Glorieta Pass won by Col. Chivington and volunteers over Texas. Often referred to as the Gettysburg of the West

1863

  • Lincoln delivers Emancipation Proclamation
  • Battle at Gettysburg fought and won by Union Army

1864

  • Second Pacific Railroad Act passed doubling the size of land grants and improving subsidies
  • Fort Weld meeting between U.S. Army and Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle where Army agrees to protect Black Kettle’s tribe if they will settle at Sand Creek
  • November 29, 1864 – Sand Creek Massacre

1865

  • U.S. General Philip Sheridan proclaims that peace with the Indian will be won when the buffalo is destroyed

1867

  • Medicine Lodge Treaty establishes reservations for Cheyenne and Arapaho people in Oklahoma

1868

  • Fort Laramie Treaty signed but Indians refuse to believe that the U.S. Army will abide by it and fighting escalates
  • Amendment XIV to the Constitution, 1868: No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

1870

  • Amendment XV to the Constitution, 1870: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

1871

  • Indian Appropriations Act passed by Congress and makes Indians legal wards of the state and not sovereign people

1873

  • 3 million bison are being killed each year

1876

  • Colorado goes from being a territory to gaining statehood

1877

  • Laramie Treaty repealed by Congress, the Black Hills are legally opened to whites and gold mining.
  • Lakota Sioux wage war.

For further reading:

  • HALFBREED: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent by David Fridtjof Halaas
  • Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek by Carol Turner
  • Finding Sand Creek by Jerome A. Greene and Douglas D. Scott
  • The Massacre at Sand Creek Narrative Voices by Bruce Cutler
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Why are teachers in the Steel City prepared to strike: ‘Teachers are walking into classrooms that are not funded’

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Teachers in Pueblo are prepared to join a national movement of educator activism and walk out of their classrooms later this year if their demand for a 2 percent raise isn’t met.

Members of the Pueblo Education Association, the southern Colorado town’s teachers union, voted last week to authorize a strike after the local school board rejected a third party recommendation that the district provide the cost-of-living pay increase the teachers were seeking during this year’s contract negotiations.

As part of its rationale for rejecting teacher raises, the board cited other budget priorities, a desire to protect funding reserves, and raises given to most teachers in the past two years. The average teacher salary this year in Pueblo is $47,617, according to state data.

The board’s vote came after the district recently decided to go to a four-day week, in part as a cost-saving measure.

The extraordinary vote — the last teacher strike in Colorado occurred in 1994 — took place as teachers across the country have left their classrooms over demands for better salaries and more school funding. So far, teachers in West Virginia and Oklahoma have staged weeklong strikes. Arizona teachers are also preparing to leave their lesson plans behind.

“I think both movements, both nationally and locally, show that teachers have had enough,” Suzanne Etheridge, the Pueblo teachers union president said. “Teachers are walking into classrooms that are not funded.”

For the moment, Pueblo teachers are still in their classrooms. A strike can’t take place until after the state decides in early May whether it will step in to broker a deal.

Etheridge, in an interview with Chalkbeat, discussed the circumstances that led teachers in the 16,000-student school district to take such “drastic” action, how the national climate is fueling their effort, and how the looming strike could be resolved.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. (Click here to read the district’s statement on the union’s vote to strike.)

Negotiations between the union and the district have been tense before. What’s different this time? Why did you go all the way to taking a vote for a strike?
I think what’s different this time is the true lack of openness during this round of bargaining. Although the district has accused us of never coming off our demand for 2.8 percent, which was our initial request, they also stuck to zero the whole entire time. There were also some issues, some discussions we should have had but never happened. We were invited to one budget summit that consisted of a sit-and-listen to somebody lecture the school board. So, it was just the real lack of openness and transparency through this process.

What finally tipped the balance was when the school board took its vote. Some of the comments made really angered our teachers. It felt like we were being publicly lectured asking for a cost-of-living increase. One of our board members went on about the value of younger teachers versus more experienced teachers, when we’re all valuable. There should be none of those lines drawn. We felt like some of the comments were very caustic in nature. I watched teachers’ faces at that board meeting. I watched the disappointment. I watched the hurt. I watched the anger. Our members after that were very, very upset.

You said in another interview that this wasn’t just about money, but about respect. How have Pueblo teachers been disrespected?
Educator voices are not part of the decision-making in our schools right now. At one of our schools, which is in turnaround status, they just had their lesson plan format changed for the sixth time this year. It’s the middle of April! We have very little input at the district level. We have made three open records request for the district’s staffing model for next year. And still, we’re just told no, that it’s still fluid. When they ask questions, they’re very often met with not only resistance, but are sometimes punished. It’s those sorts of things that have just added up for teachers.

There’s a five-member board. Two of the members were endorsed by the union. How did your relationship with the board break down?
The board members who voted against the fact finder report aren’t hearing teachers. What we’re trying to tell them is that a budget is about choices. And we don’t agree with some of the choices they’re making right now. One of the choices was that the instructional budget was cut, but business services had their budget increased, so did human resources. That’s a choice. The district is spending a lot of money on a law firm out of Boulder. That’s a choice. Administrators received a cost-of-living increase this year, teachers are not. More importantly our paraprofessionals have not. It’s those kind of choices we’re looking at in our budget analysis and saying, “Wait a minute.” We’ve also found money where we believe the district is over-budgeting and has some money available.

The school board president, Barb Clementi, a former teacher whom you did endorse, wrote an editorial recently about her vote against giving teachers a raise: “There is no question that our employees deserve more, and yet we are in a grim financial situation. Since three educators were elected to the board, teachers, paraprofessionals and other educators have seen two raises and three step increases in pay. We are struggling to continue to fund those increases in the coming budget and will undoubtedly see cuts to staff and programs in order to do so. It is fiscally irresponsible to dig an even deeper financial hole by raiding our reserves, which are meant to cover one-time emergency expenses, or by further cutting staff and programs.” I know you’re suggesting that the district doesn’t need to use reserves to pay for these raises, but more broadly, why is she wrong? Is it just possible that it’s just not the teachers’ turn for a raise? Was a guarantee of a raise next year never part of the conversation?

No, it was not. At least not until now, after all this has got rolling. We still have next year’s contract hanging out there. It’s been mentioned in some informal conversations, “Well, there’s next year.” The problem is, those raises, the past two years only came after this same process — long, drawn-out negotiations. Steps (or years of tenure) are not a raise for all of our employees. There are some places people are frozen. What the district also fails to recognize, is that in all of its years, it’s never once been on the state’s watchlist for fiscal risk. They’ve always been very healthy financially. They’ve maintained stable ground. We’ve tracked reserves through the years, and this is the first year you can see a little bit of a decrease. But that’s because the district made a choice to move some money to address facility issues, which we also understand. The other thing they neglect to mention is that the district continues to get more money from the state despite declining enrollment. They are getting additional money, and they’re set to get more money. School finance is looking a little better in Colorado for next year.

Should teachers expect to get raises every year?
I think there are ways that we need to start looking at our traditional salary scales. That should be something on the table at a future point. Do I think some of the structures of our salary schedules are a little outdated? Yes. I think there are ways we can change that to make the money a little bit better. What people also need to understand is that schools are funded by the state based on cost of living. So, I think it’s reasonable for there to be something. Does it need to be a 10 percent raise? Not necessarily, because we are dependant on state funding.

Teachers, in a lot of cases, have the same level of education as attorneys, physicians assistants, nurses. And those people can expect raises. They have a high level of education and so do our teachers. Teachers have been deprofessionalized by the lack of funding, by the lack of raises. Do I think teachers deserve to come into a profession and take care of their own families, to pay off their own students loans? Absolutely.

We’re at a moment of national unrest and action by teachers. Do you think your members are feeling embolden by that? Would your members have voted to strike if it there wasn’t this national conversation?
I think we’d still be heading here, even without the momentum. But do I think the national momentum has helped? Absolutely. I think both movements, both nationally and locally, show that teachers have had enough. Teachers are walking into classrooms that are not funded. We have teachers who (can only make) 100 copies a month from the building copier. And yet, they see 125 to 150 students a day. That’s the kind of thing teachers are tired of. My daughter-in-law, she’s a teacher, the decorations in her classroom are bought with her own money. Teachers for the last five to seven years have been put in the situation of having to buy basic supplies such as paper and pencils because schools have been so underfunded. It’s all part of the same issue. It’s about respect. No other professional would be asked to buy their supplies like teachers do.

Pueblo is the only urban school district in the state to not have voter approval for additional local funding for its schools. What do voters in Pueblo and Colorado need to know about how the financial situation is contributing to this moment?
Colorado has fallen further and further behind in school funding. Current estimates suggest we’re either 46th or 48th in funding schools. Which is really tragic considering our economy — at least in the northern part of the state — has been healthier than it’s ever been.

The other piece of this, for districts like ours that have not passed a tax increase: We’ve hurt ourselves. School districts have had to pass local tax increases to keep the cash flow coming in to do things like keep up facilities, supplies, and technology.

We desperately need one. We need a long-term, well-thought-out plan for a mill levy override and perhaps a bond issue to be able to get our schools up to date. There was supposed to be a committee to get this started. And we were supposed to be part of that committee. But it hasn’t happened.

Getting back to the potential strike, teachers at a local middle school recently staged a “sickout.” One parent responded: “If the teachers want to strike, fine: strike like the steelworkers strike where they don’t get paid a damn dime. But for them to use sick time and screw over all these kids, who’re aren’t in school today because of that? That’s wrong. And they expect the community to take them seriously?” What do you say to that parent? Are you at all concerned that this could backfire, are you worried that the district could just drop the collective bargaining all together?
That’s always a concern. That’s something we hope doesn’t happen. The association did not plan what happened at Corwin International Magnet School. I didn’t even know about it. I read it on Facebook and in the news like everyone else.

What I would say to that parent is that we’re not walking out to harm our students. In reality, we’re planning a strike to help our students. One of the things that this district struggles with is high teacher turnover. It’s one of the highest rates in the state. We have positions filled this year by teachers who have come out of retirement for limited contracts. We have teachers in classrooms on alternative licenses. Finding a special education teacher in the city of Pueblo is like finding a needle in a haystack. We believe that if we can get back to work openly, honestly, and collaboratively with the school district, where we can compete salary-wise with districts surrounding us, then we can keep highly qualified teachers in our classroom. That’s what we’re after. Our goal is not to harm students. But we feel like to benefit our students, we have to take drastic opinions right now.

What is the long-term solution, so a strike can be avoided and you’re not here next year?
We have made a conscious decision: We feel a 2 percent raise is fair. It’s off of our initial proposal by almost a full percent. We’d like to be able to come back to the table with some sort of real labor-management partnership collaboration agreement so we’re not here again. It’s going to take some real work. It might even take some outside help to repair our relationship. However, when we do come to the table again, I’d like to see come forward a real partnership agreement. Not one that is just written on paper.

What’s the nationwide or state solution to this moment of educator unrest?
Funding formulas across states need to be changed. States need to take a long hard look at how they fund schools. I believe Colorado’s is archaic. Will money solve everything? No. But it’s a big piece of it. We also have to get teachers to the table when education decisions have been made.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.


Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Nic Garcia on April 23, 2018

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More than just pie, the Pecan industry sets sights on snacks

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The humble pecan is being rebranded as more than just pie.

Pecan growers and suppliers are hoping to sell U.S. consumers on the virtues of North America’s only native nut as a hedge against a potential trade war with China, the pecan’s largest export market.

The pecan industry is also trying to crack the fast-growing snack-food industry.

The retail value for packaged nuts, seeds and trail mix in the U.S. alone was $5.7 billion in 2012, and is forecast to rise to $7.5 billion by 2022, according to market researcher Euromonitor.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based American Pecan Council, formed in the wake of a new federal marketing order that allows the industry to band together and assess fees for research and promotion, is a half-century in the making, said Jim Anthony, 80, the owner of a 14,000-acre pecan farm near Granbury, Texas.

Anthony said that regional rivalries and turf wars across the 15-state pecan belt — stretching from the Carolinas to California — made such a union impossible until recently, when demand for pecans exploded in Asian markets.

Until 2007, most U.S. pecans were consumed domestically, according to Daniel Zedan, president of Nature’s Finest Foods, a marketing group. By 2009, China was buying about a third of the U.S. crop.

The pecan is the only tree nut indigenous to North America, growers say. Sixteenth-century Spanish explore Cabeza de Vaca wrote about tasting the nut during his encounters with Native American tribes in South Texas. The name is French explorers’ phonetic spelling of the native word “pakan,” meaning hard-shelled nut.

Facing growing competition from pecan producers in South Africa, Mexico and Australia, U.S. producers are also riding the wave of the Trump Administration’s policies to promote American-made goods.

Most American kids grow up with peanut butter but peanuts probably originated in South America. Almonds are native to Asia and pistachios to the Middle East. The pecan council is funding academic research to show that their nuts are just as nutritious.

The council on Wednesday will debut a new logo: “American Pecans: The Original Supernut.”

Rodney Myers, who manages operations at Anthony’s pecan farm, credits the pecan’s growing cachet in China and elsewhere in Asia with its association to rustic Americana — “the oilfield, cowboys, the Wild West — they associate all these things with the North American nut,” he said.

China earlier this month released a list of American products that could face tariffs in retaliation for proposed U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Fresh and dried nuts — including the pecan — could be slapped with a 15-percent tariff, according to the list. To counter that risk, the pecan council is using some of the $8 million in production-based assessments it’s collected since the marketing order was passed to promote the versatility of the tree nut beyond pecan pie at Thanksgiving.

While Chinese demand pushed up prices it also drove away American consumers. By January 2013, prices had dropped 50 percent from their peak in 2011, according to Zedan.

U.S. growers and processers were finally able in 2016 to pass a marketing order to better control pecan production and prices.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, federal marketing orders help producers and handlers standardize packaging, impose quality control and fund research, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees 28 other fruit, vegetable and specialty marketing orders, in addition to the pecan order.

Critics charge that the orders interfere with the price signals of a free, unfettered private market.

“What you’ve created instead is a government-sanctioned cartel,” said Daren Bakst, an agricultural policy researcher at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Before the almond industry passed its own federal marketing order in 1950, fewer almonds than pecans were sold, according to pecan council chair Mike Adams, who cultivates 600 acres of pecan trees near Caldwell, Texas. Now, while almonds appear in everything from cereal to milk substitutes, Adams calls the pecan “the forgotten nut.”

“We’re so excited to have an identity, to break out of the pie shell,” said Molly Willis, a member of the council who owns an 80-acre pecan farm in Albany, Georgia, a supplement to her husband’s family’s peanut-processing business.

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Navajo Nation marks 150th anniversary of return to homeland

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A long-lost original copy of a historic treaty signed in 1868 by leaders of one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes and the U.S. government will go on display later this year as the Navajo Nation commemorates a dark, but significant chapter of history.

Navajo Vice President Jonathan Nez and other tribal officials gathered Tuesday in Albuquerque to detail some of the events that will mark the signing of the treaty 150 years ago.

That treaty is what cleared the way for tribal members to return to their homeland in the heart of the American Southwest after being rounded up years earlier by the U.S. cavalry and forced to make an arduous and deadly trek hundreds of miles to a camp in eastern New Mexico.

Nez recounted the hardships of what came to be known as the Long Walk, saying many Navajos died along the route to Bosque Redondo. He also talked about those who stayed behind and hid in canyons and on mesa tops, often foregoing the warmth of a fire to avoid capture.

“We want our younger generation to know about our history,” Nez told a room packed with tribal officials and reporters.

He also talked about problems facing tribal communities, from suicide to alcoholism, drug addiction and violence. He said he wants to tap into the resilience of those Navajo ancestors who endured the hardships of the 1800s.

“What this will do is inspire, encourage our people out there that they can’t give up, to jump back up, dust themselves off and to fight even harder than ever before for what they believe in,” Nez said.

Navajo President Russell Begaye has said this year’s commemoration is also about telling the story of the Long Walk, the signing of the treaty and the return home from the perspective of Native Americans. He and other tribal officials say one goal is to address what they called a “legacy of misrepresentation” that has stemmed from that era.

Before research and planning began for this year’s events, there were only two known copies of the historic treaty. The whereabouts of one is now a mystery and the other has been kept by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The third copy turned up only recently when the relatives of a peace commissioner who was involved in the negotiation and signing of the treaty in 1868 found the document in a trunk in the family attic.

It was rolled up and bound with the original but faded ribbon. It was in pristine condition along with notes and other documents that historians hope might fill in some of the blanks from that time.

Pages of that copy will be on display starting in June at the Bosque Redondo Memorial near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The National Archives is partnering with the Navajo Nation to display the other original copy at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, for the month of June.

It took more than two years of planning to make the exhibition possible as this marks only the second time an original treaty has gone back to a homeland.

Museum director Manny Wheeler said the treaty is more than just a document to the Navajo people.

“When I saw the document and I saw the marks of all of our leaders on that paper, it is a powerful thing and it is very much so opening up dialogue among all Navajos about who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler suggested that as much as the document was key to the Navajos’ past, it also has the power to change the future by awaking tribal members to the importance of preserving their culture and language.

The leaders of the Navajo Nation’s three branches of government signed a proclamation earlier this year declaring 2018 as the year of the treaty, and the tribe launched a website .

The commemoration also includes a day of prayer across the Navajo Nation, cultural nights, tours of the tribal council chambers and a run that will span more than 400 miles (644 kilometers) from Fort Sumner to the Navajo capital.

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