For Our Navajo People: Diné Letters, Speeches, and Petitions, 1900-1960


Using previously unpublished material, this book presents Navajo perspectives on key issues of land, community, education, rights, government, and identity.
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Using previously unpublished material, this book presents Navajo perspectives on key issues of land, community, education, rights, government, and identity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826327185
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Iverson, Regents' Professor of History at Arizona State University, is the author of twelve books in American Indian history.

Monty Roessel (Navajo), Executive Director of the Rough Rock Community School, has written and provided photographs for award-winning books for young people.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Land
1. Chee Dodge addresses the problems that would occur with the end of trust status and the division of tribal lands, February 2, 1914.
2. Chee Dodge writes to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs about Navajo oil resources, March 2, 1923.
3. Tribal Council members consider land use issues, July 8, 1926.
4. Jacob C. Morgan opposes using the Navajo oil fund to purchase new reservation lands, February 18, 1927.
5. John Lee protests a decision denying him access to grazing lands, October 11, 1936.
6. Adolph Maloney favors one version of livestock reduction, August 9, 1937.
7. Chee Dodge notes the challenges and problems inherent in the use of land resources, April 20, 1938.
8. Scott Preston and others write to their congressional representative about current federal grazing policies, February 14, 1940.
9. Navajo Tribal Council members question Superintendent Fryer about the details of livestock reduction, 1940.
10. Manuel Denetso criticizes the imposition of land management districts, July 5, 1940.
11. Paul Jones reports that Hopis are taking wood from Navajo land, January 13, 1944.
12. Deshna Clah Chischillige emphasizes the importance of developing "our country," July 19, 1944.
13. Mrs. Chiquito fears she will lose her land, May 17, 1947.
14. Tom Jones, Rachel Laughter, and others describe the "Big Snow," January 1, 1948.
15. Dewey Etsitty attacks the donkey and praises the elephant, April 18, 1953.
16. Marcus Kahuno and Sevier Vaughan review Navajo-Hopi relations, December 8, 1954.
17. Paul Jones advocates getting "our money's worth on oil" and explains that industry can help the Tribe provide for the needy, October 6, 1955, and January 18, 1956.
18. Gray Valentine looks at contemporary oil development and remembers past promises, January 19, 1956.
Chapter 2: Community
19. St. Michaels residents petition to the President to add land to the reservation, February 26, 1924.
20. Greasewood chapter officers ask for a boarding school and Round Rock chapter asks for a day school, April 14, 1932 and March 20, 1939.
21. Shonto and Lukachukai residents let the Commissioner of Indian Affairs know they need better roads, June 15, 1935 and February 1937. (National Archives, Laguna Niguel)
22. Toadlena chapter officers inform Dr. W.W. Peter that a physician is needed in their community, January 30, 1937.
23. Kinlichee chapter members request that their Christmas wish be granted, December 25, 1937.
24. Eastern Navajo area residents doubt the author of the Taylor Grazing Act knows anything about them, n.d.
25. Lake Valley Chapter members demand their teacher be fired, July 26, 1940.
26. Rock Point residents protest the transfer of a range rider, November 18, 1940.
27. Mariano Lake chapter members present a problem with horses, October 26, 1943.
28. Twin Lakes residents call for the end of the Mexican Springs soil conservation station, November 22, 1943.
29. Many Farms chapter members argue for the end of livestock reduction until the war is over, November 23, 1943.
Chapter 3: Education
30. Jacob Morgan (Hampton Institute) reports his activities, August 27, 1902.
31. Yanapah Tsosie and Sam Ahkeah (San Juan School) reporton a visitor's speech, June 1910.
32. Lilly Julian (Sherman Institute) and Katherine Atencia (Albuquerque Indian School) describe life at school, n.d. and May 1914.
33. Alice Becenti (Sherman Institute) writes about homesickness, money, and other concerns, August 24, 1914; November 3, 1915; May 1916.
34. Grace Padilla (Albuquerque Indian School) asks when she can come home, June 24, 1915.
35. Gertrude Lynch (St. Michaels School) presents her summer plans, April 19, 1915.
36. John Charles (Haskell Institute) wonders about his future, November 30, 1915.
37. Chee Dodge calls on the government not to use force in sending children to school, April 20, 1925.
38. Waldo Emerson (Fort Wingate) clarifies why he may not continue to stay in school, November 10, 1935.
39. Sally Kinlichini asks that her son return home and Lucy Harvey explains why her children are not in school, November 26, 1935, and March 1939.
40. Alice Clark invites the director of Navajo education to Toadlena School, May 17, 1940.
41. Sam Gorman speaks about the value of a good education, February 2, 1941, and November 4, 1953.
42. Chee Dodge summarizes the changes in Navajo perspectives about education, May 20, 1946.
43. Roger Davis calls for compulsory education, February 18, 1947.
44. Lilly Neil explains the situation in the checkerboard area, September 8, 1947.
45. Hoskie Cronemeyer advocates an emphasis on English in the schools, August 11, 1952.
46. Sam Ahkeah emphasizes the importance of higher education, July 20, 1953.
47. Alice John Bedoni (Phoenix Indian School) stresses the value of education, June 1, 1954.
48. Dillon Platero reviews current problems, needs, and accomplishments, January 25, 1960.
Chapter 4: Rights
49. Peshlakai and other leaders support the federal government, November 29, 1905.
50. Be-zho-she describes a confrontation with Superintendent William Shelton, November 1, 1913.
51. John Yazza and Willie George write from prison, June 24, 1916, and July 8, 1922.
52. Nelson Etcitty chastises Superintendent Samuel Stacher, April 4, 1922, and April 22, 1922.
53. Howard Gorman speaks out about the traders, December 20, 1939 and July 2, 1940.
54. Roger Davis calls for the Navajos to receive the same kind of benefits as non-Indian farmers and ranchers, June 6, 1940.
55. The Navajo Rights Association approves by-laws and resolutions, October and November, 1940.
56. Deshna Clah Chischillige advocates Navajo rights, December 8, 1940.
57. Private Ralph Anderson demands the right to vote, April 30, 1943.
58. Evans Holly, Jack Jones, James Oliver, and Sam Capitan document some of the challenges facing the Native American Church, August 29, 1944, April 15, 1945, and May 8, 1945.
59. Julia Denetclaw tries in vain to register to vote, May 6, 1946.
60. Annie Wauneka raises questions about the status of Navajo water rights, May 3, 1952.
61. Frank Bradley reveals the problems experienced by Navajos working off the reservation, November 3, 1953.
62. Annie Wauneka addresses health care, November 2, 1953, October 12, 1955, and January 15, 1959.
63. Howard Gorman discusses the need for legal assistance for individual Navajos, October 9, 1958.
Chapter 5: Government
64. Atsidi Nez calls for one boss for all of the Navajos, December 21, 1920.
65. Jacob Morgan declares Chee Dodge and his friends are trying to force him off the tribal council, May 20, 1927.
66. Deshna Clah Chischillige speaks about the needs of the people, June 1, 1933.
67. Tom Dodge says the Tribal Council must deal with traders, soil erosion, and missionaries, October 30, 1933.
68. Jacob Morgan employs the example of Booker T. Washington, March 12, 1934.
69. Jim Shirley complains about administrators taking too much of the Tribal Council's time, April 9, 1934.
70. Chee Dodge recommends the removal of Superintendent E.R. Fryer, April 20, 1936.
71. Tom Dodge resigns as chairman of the Tribal Council, May 7, 1936.
72. Tom Dodge characterizes Jacob Morgan as the Navajo Hitler, March 24, 1938.
73. Jacob Morgan articulates his hopes for his administration, November 8, 1938.
74. Jacob Morgan addresses the role of the Tribal Council, March 7, 1939.
75. Chairman Jacob Morgan denies the right of Vice Chairman Howard Gorman to speak during a Tribal Council meeting, May 1939.
76. Tsehe Notah talks about the need to plan for our own people, July 5, 1940.
77. Notah Begay supports a range rider, November 19, 1940.
78. Howard Gorman reports to E.R. Fryer on Tom Dodge and Chee Dodge, January 28, 1941.
79. Robert Martin and other Tribal Council members provide Congress with a list of grievances, April 1946.
80. Dewey Etsitty and Roger Davis argue the traders must pay more rent, June 26, 1948.
81. Ned Hatathli urges the Tribal Council to plan for the future, October 14, 1955.
82. Annie Wauneka analyzes the job being done by the general counsel, January 23, 1956.
83. Howard Gorman clarifies the significance of Williams v. Lee, January 13, 1959.
Chapter 6: Identity
84. Chee Dodge warns people about a short rope, November 16, 1905. (National Archives, Washington, D.C.)
85. Clitso Dedman seeks Lorenzo Hubbell's advice, September 9, 1912. (Hubbell Trading Post Archives)
86. Gehbah Manuelito and Ed Becenti disapprove of Navajo ceremonies, August 18, 1929. (National Archives, Laguna Niguel)
87. Toadlena school children explain how a rug is created, how sheep are cared for, and how a hogan is constructed, ca. 1930. (Beinecke Library, Yale University)
88. Tom Dodge refutes an inaccurate magazine article about the Navajos, February 25, 1933. (Archives and Manuscripts, Arizona State University)
89. Roy Kinsel, Mattie Denet Dale, John Harvey, Hola Tso, Scott Preston, and David Clark furnish conflicting testimony about peyote, June 3, 1940, and 1946. (Archives and Manuscripts, Arizona State University)
90. Navajo Code Talkers use their language and imagination, 1942-1945.
91. Private Ralph W. Anderson asks for support during World War II, July 3, 1943.
92. Dan Keyonie reminds John Collier that Navajos are fighting for him, July 10, 1943.
93. Sam Ahkeah lauds the sacrifices of Navajo soldiers and calls for an end to livestock reduction and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, July 9, 1943.
94. David Clah categorizes sheep as "a thing of the past," February 19, 1947.
95. Jim Hale and Eugene Gordy explain why sheep and horses still matter, June 28, 1948 and August 20, 1951.
96. Alfred Damon considers changing times, ca. 1951.
97. Howard Gorman and Sam Ahkeah examine the importance of preserving traditional ceremonial knowledge, March 2, 1954.
98. R.C. Gorman stresses the value of military service, April 1, 1954.
99. Ned Hatathali notes the altered place of livestock in the Navajo economy, September 19, 1957.
100. Paul Jones outlines issues, achievements, and opportunities, January 1959.
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