I am Falling Tree of the Navajo nation. I feel a need to address the troubles that my people have faced. The Navajo have been treated with contempt and condescension in the past. My nation has endured malicious treatment and suffered countless injustices.
When the settlers moved west they infringed on our land. My people have been here for centuries. The Europeans came here and spread across the land like a pestilence that couldn't be stopped. The Native Americans were pushed aside and were thought considered a nuisance.
My nation has signed treaties with your government. They promised my nation peace, land, and rations. The government delivered the rations in festive atmosphere. There were games, contests, racing, and betting. However, the white man couldn't play fair. An uproar ensued and more than thirty of my nation were shot dead. We were foolish to think that a piece of paper meant something to the white man when a Native American's signature was on the document.
In the year of 1863, United States forces under Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson began a campaign against my nation. His troops stormed into Canyon de Chelly, a place sacred to my people. The white men roused everyone from their homes and proceeded to burn them to the ground. They also burned our saddles, clothing, and food stores. In addition all of our sheep and cattle were slaughtered.
My people tried to escape. We hid in the caves and canyon walls but our efforts were futile. We were hunted down like animals and placed under armed guard. The Great Spirit was looking out for a small group of my people. They found a freshwater spring in a hidden canyon and were able to avoid captivity. After the conclusion of the raid, some 8,000 members of my...