Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Navajo" pt. 2

The Navajo like most other Native American tribes. Hold great respect for the military members, past and present. Most Native American events I've visited. Always have a moment of silence. For the members who have served in the military. A few days ago one of the last of the Navajo Code talkers from WWII died. His name was Lloyd Oliver. He died at age 87 from pancreatitis. Born in Shiprock New Mexico on 23 April 1923. He served in the Pacific Theater on the islands of Guadalcanal, New Britain, Saipan and Peleiu. Most of the code talkers were mainly Navajo. But other tribes such as the Hopi, were also used. The reason being is. That the Japaneses had broke many American secret codes. By using Native American dialects. The Japaneses couldn't intercept the messages between the troops in the Pacific Theater. It's sad that Navajo and other Native American tribal members. Have given there lives in war. They died to defend the vary system and country who enslaved them. Such is the powers of the giant propaganda machine in America. And the rest of the World.

One more subject before going back to Navajo history. The country now has March Madness going on. For the college basketball championships, for men and women. Basketball is big on the Navajo reservation. And the small school basketball championships here in Arizona. Are dominated by the teams from on or near. The Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. With the cold winters and constant blowing wind. The game of basketball is ideal for the reservation schools. The fan turn-out is great and the small communities. Live and die with there boys and girls basketball teams. Now onto the Navajo warfare and current "Times".

The Spanish learned of the Navajo in the 1600s. And in the 1700s they sent missionaries to convert the Dineh (Navajo) to Catholicism. Not only did the missionaries want to covert the Dineh. They wanted to enslave them also. You cannot put it in other terms. The Catholic church could care less for. The traditions and ancient ways of the Dineh. But the Dineh resisted the Catholic church plans. Just as did many other Native American tribes of the southwest.

The Dineh made several raids into Mexico. To counter the raid that the Spanish had done to them. Spanish and Mexicans fighters were going north. And capturing children, women and men for slaves. Thus the Navajo did the same thing to the Spanish and Mexicans. And they also used the raids for food and livestock. Along with raids on the Spanish and Mexicans. They attacked settlers using the Santa Fe Trail. That connected the east to the western United States.

In 1846 the Americans occupied New Mexico. In what was called the 'Mexican War'. The Mexican government finally submitted to the treaty know as, 'Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo' in 1848. As this happen the U.S. government set policy for governing the Dineh peoples. The U.S. with Colonel Stephen Kearney in charge. Told the Ango-Americans and the Mexican Americans. They would protect them from the Dineh. But did not protect the Dineh from slave raids from the Mexican and Spanish. So the cycle of violence between the two parties continued on.

The U.S. government sent the Missouri Volunteers west. With the leadership of Colonel Alexander Doniphan. They were to punish the Dineh for the stealing of livestock. The Dineh were able to avoid contact with the Calvary. By hiding out in such places as Canyon de Chelly and the canyons of there ancient territories.

A major dispute between the Dineh and the U.S. government. Started in the 1850s. It was over a area know as, 'Canyon Bonito', near Fort Defiance. The Calvary wanted to graze there horse their. It had long been a tradition grazing area for the Dineh. The U.S. Calvary shot the Dineh horses. In retaliation, the Dineh raid the U.S. Calvary's horses. To make up for the lost horses. And the Dineh led by chief Manuelito and ally Barboncito. Attacked the U.S. Calvary at Fort Defiance. The Dineh were defeated by Colonel Edward Canby. And were chased into the Chuska Mountains area. They disappeared into the canyons. Only to re-group and hold mini raids against the U.S. Calvary. Then vanish back into the canyons and mountains.

In 1861 another fight broke out between the Dineh and the U.S. Calvary. This "Time" it was over a horse race. At a fort called Fort Lyon. The Dineh claimed one of the soldiers held up there horse, in a race. A judge refused to hold another race. So the Dineh once again rioted. The soldiers fire a cannon into the crowd of Dineh. Killing ten of there members in the action.

In 1862, Colonel Christopher 'Kit' Carson was brought in. To handle the field affairs of the U.S. Calvary. His first project was to take care of the Mescalero Apache problem. Then he would start a campaign against the Dineh. Instead of trying to defeat the Dineh in battle (on there home turf). He used a system of scorched-earth. His troops destroyed the Dineh, orchard, hogans and live stock. Then he pushed the Dineh into Canyon de Chelly. Where he blocked the steep wall canyon at both ends. Then flushed out the pocket of resistance.

With the will of the Dineh defeated. They were forced onto army posts. In 1866 the Dineh along with there Apache partners. Were force to march to eastern New Mexico. This was know as the, 'Long Walk'. That killed many of the tribal members. They were marched to a place called Bosque Redondo. Here they died from disease, lack of supplies and fights with the Apaches. In 1868 the Dineh were allowed to return to there traditional lands. They were given 3.5 million acres. In the Four Corners area.

Today the Dineh have the same problems as there White brothers. Drugs, alcohol, un-employment have set in. Most have lost there traditional ways now. Leaving the reservation in hordes. To look for a better life in the cities. Only to find the same problems they ran from. The good news is. Many of the Dineh are trying to re-find there original roots. You see this in there ceremonies and dances. I hope the Dineh start to return to there traditional home lands. So they can find Peace in there lives. There is nothing for them in the White mans World. That can help them into the next life.

"God" bless bye

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