The Effect of the Navajo Long Walk Through Photos

byJennifer Tsosie

The Navajo Long Walk is a historical traumatic event whose story is told generation to generation. From the time of migration to the west, official documentation from the U.S. Government, soldiers, and other officials allows us to piece together a history. We also make our own inquires about what the Navajo People have gone through when trying to be exiled from their homeland. The stories and photographs taken of that time still impact the Navajo People today. Navajo children on the Navajo reservation live in two cultures, the traditional Navajo and westernized U.S. cultures. Some have learned to balance the two, while others still struggle because of this historical trauma. This curriculum unit is designed for sixth grade elementary students. The unit will have students reading, writing and researching while incorporating culturally responsive relevancy. The unit will cover Navajo Nation, Arizona Social Studies, Art and World Language standards. Students will research and analyze stories and photographs about the Long Walk. They will discover that any type of art created have different stories to tell. They will learn about the powerful messages of beliefs and practices of earlier generations that impacted the Navajo People. Students will form their own perception of the event by creating their own artwork to tell about the Long Walk.

(Developed for Navajo Studies, grade 6; recommended for Navajo Studies, grades 5-6, and Navajo Government, Junior High and High School grades)

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