4.Long Walk Home Mural
HISTORY BEHIND THE MURAL
In 1864 during a period of destabilization
among U.S. settlers, Spanish inhabitants and
Native Americans, the Navajo and some Apache
were singled out by the U.S. government as
responsible for raiding. Thousands of Navajo
people were forcibly marched from Canyon
de Chelly by Colonel Kit Carson, on orders of
Brigadier General James H. Carleton to Fort
Sumner four hundred miles away. Eventually
7,000 Navajo were imprisoned there.
The captives suffered four years of deplorable
conditions of drought, hunger and cold until
it no longer became feasible to hold them. The
Peace Treaty of 1868 was signed and the Navajo
were released. At Fort Wingate, livestock and
other supplies were distributed. From there the
Navajo dispersed along the Rio Puerco, where
Gallup was later founded in 1881, to their ancestral
homeland, now a defined reservation.
Community members who guided the development
of this mural are Laura Bentz, Zonnie
Gorman, Arlene High and Martin Link.
RICHARD K. YAZZIE
Richard K. Yazzie, muralist, combines exquisite
draftsmanship with bold color and a passion for
his own Navajo history. He is a graduate of the
Institute of Indian Arts in Santa Fe, a Vietnam
Veteran and was a graphic designer for the state
of Wisconsin for 34 years. He returned to his
homeland near Crownpoint in 2004 and has
been painting and creating murals ever since.