Destination: Navajo Reservation, Ganado, Arizona
Book: Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life by Jim Kristofic (Chosen as a Top Pick in the Southwest Books of the Year, 2011.)
It is impossible to talk about Arizona’s history without referring to some of the first people who inhabited this land.
A memorable moment at a Centennial Celebration at the University of Arizona in Tucson demonstrates the point. The President of the University welcomed the crowd and pointed out that the University of Arizona had been here 27 years before Arizona became a state. Then the Mayor of Tucson responded by saying that the city of Tucson had been chartered 7 years before the University was founded.
The next speaker, Ophelia Zapada, a Tohono O’odham (formerly known as Pima Indian) poet and linguist spoke next. She said, “I couldn’t help overhearing our distinguished speakers talking about how long the University and the city have been here….” She was interrupted by a roar of laughter from the crowd which made it unnecessary for her to make her point that there were people here long, long before any of our own short measures of history.
Of the many American Indian tribes in Arizona, the Navajo is the largest, inhabiting a land bigger than West Virginia, spreading over parts of Arizona and New Mexico. This book focuses on the Navajo. Continue reading Only 100 Years, Arizona?