NE-HE-MAH - Our mother country. Navajo Nation is a piece of land within parts of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The entire nation covers 27, 000 square miles. In early days and early writings when the pilgrims arrived on this continent Native Americans did not for this land so the pilgrims said so they have no rights to this land. Pioneers told of the uncivilized Native Americans who, due to the fact they were uncivilized could not own this land. Prospectors who pushed west were telling others of the Native Americans who could not speak English so they truly could not own this land. These Native Americans were pushed around by strangers.
Those strangers took their land, slaughtered their game, outlawed their worship methods and stole from their communities. The United States government settled on giving them the Navajo Nation land. Now, they had a home but we continued to involve ourselves in their lives. We forced the Navajo children to leave their parents and attend English school. They were given English names, cut their hair and punished them for using their native tongue.
The Navajo are a strong people, they held onto their language and culture with great pride and personal risk. Why then would the Native Americans who were pushed around, ravaged and treated wrongly want to protect this county? The reply was “Somebody has got to defend this country, somebody has to defend freedom.” (Nez, Avila, Colacci, & Tantor Media, 2011)
Philip Johnson and his missionary family lived on the Navajo Reservation and worked with the Navajo. Growing up with the Navajo language was really the only way to truly understand the language. Their language was basically a 411 word language, but it was how it was spoken that was t...
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...ce to our country. Once the recognition started it seemed to continue because then in 1982 President Reagan gave the Code Talkers a day of their own to celebrate – August 14th became National Code Talker Day. The Senate also passes Bill 2408 and it was signed by President Clinton for Congress to award the Congressional Gold Metal to Navajo Code Talkers. Few of the original Code Talkers are available to finally receive their awards. The families are very proud of their families but it has come too late for most of them and a long time coming.
It is amazing that the same people who we tried to destroy in America, taking their land, lives and culture away were the same people who were there ready to fight and save the U.S. They came home heroes with no hero’s welcome back.
DINE BIZAAD YEE ATAH NAAYEE YIK’EH DRESDLII – the Navajo language was used to defeat the enemy.
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