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Navajo Treaty (Naaltsoos Sání)

Museum Poster

2020 is the 152nd anniversary of the Navajo Treaty (Naaltsoos Sání), signed June 1, 1868 between the Navajo Tribe and the United States of America.

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2018 Sesquicentennial
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has officially kicked off the Year of the Treaty (Naaltsoos Sáni’), a year-long commemoration of the forced exile of the Diné People, their incarceration at Hwéeldi, the Treaty of 1868 and their triumphant return to Diné Bikéyah. – https://www.nhonews.com/news/2018/feb/20/navajo-nation-commemorates-150th-annivesary-1868-t

The Navajo Nation Branch leaders signed a proclamation recognizing 2018 as, “The Year of Naaltsoos Sání,” (The Treaty of 1868). Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne, President Russell Begaye, Vice President Jonathan Nez and Speaker LoRenzo Bates signed the proclamation at the Navajo Nation Museum January 9, 2018. The proclamation was initiated due to this year being the 150th year since the treaty was signed by Navajo leaders and Indian Peace Commissioners on behalf of the United States on June 1, 1868, at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The signing of the treaty resulted in the Navajo people returning home to the lands between the Sacred Mountains and created a nation-to-nation relationship with the United States government. See press release and Proclamation. – http://www.navajocourts.org

For years, the Navajo defended their land against Mexican and New Mexican slave traders and livestock raiders. In 1848, the U.S. Army arrived. Between 1863 and 1866, the army marched about 11,500 Diné people 400 miles to a desolate reservation at Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. In 1868, the Navajo became the only Native Nation to use a treaty to escape removal and return to their home. This treaty was written on paper taken from an army ledger book. Article 2 is the crucial one that defines the Navajo reservation. – http://nmai.si.edu/nationtonation/navajo-treaty.html

Navajo Nation Museum (Window Rock, Arizona)

Exhibition on Navajo-U.S. Treaty of 1868 concludes@nsmithdt

Recommended Listening


President Russell Begaye on Navajo Nation Treaty Day

Spotlight: Smithsonian American Indian Museum
From a young age, most Americans learn about the Founding Fathers, but are told very little about equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations. Treaties lie at the heart of the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States, and Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations  is the story of that relationship, including the history and legacy of U.S.–American Indian diplomacy from the colonial period through the present.

September 21, 2014–Through 2021
Washington, DC


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