‘Long walk home’ looks at Navajo’s 1863 march

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BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – In 1863, the U.S. Army forced more than 9,000 Navajos to make a grueling 380-mile march across New Mexico to a new reservation.

Join Ailema Benally, a park ranger from Canyon de Chelly National Monument, for a program called Long Walk Home.

The program will be Nov. 1 at Happy Days Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park at 7:30 p.m.

The walk resulted from the U.S. government effort to end conflict between the Navajo and U.S. citizens that were encroaching upon Indian homelands.

Repeated clashes led to a decision to move the Navajo to a reservation at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, called Bosque Redondo.

There were several successive marches of the Navajo and harsh conditions characterized each one. The aged and sick often died along the way even though wagons were sometimes provided.

Benally’s presentation will focus on the history and aftermath of this episode.

This program will be presented on the eve of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Navajo Cultural Festival.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 6-12. Happy Days Visitor Center is located on state Route 303, west of state Route 8.

For more information call 216-231-4600 or visit www.cmnh.org.

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