National Geographic : 1958 Dec
Twins Readily Accept the Newfangled Bottle Navajos trace family de scent through the woman. Children belong to the mother's rather than the father's family. These twins live in a log house at Nas chitti, New Mexico. Mother uses machine-made blank ets, softer and lighter than the rugs she weaves on the loom at right. A Chief's Daughter Sits in Tribal Council Mrs. Annie Wauneka, an heir of Chee Dodge, first chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council, directs her people's health program. Here, at tribal headquarters in Window Rock. Arizona (page 842). she meets with the 73 other council mem bers. Mural depicts the Nava jos' "Long Walk" of 1864. a 300-mile trek into exile ordered by the U. S. Gov ernment to curb rebellion. resort was had to boarding schools. Children were scooped up by Government agents, almost kidnaped, and concentrated in bar racklike schools. From these terrifyingly strange places many youngsters escaped when they could. Those who endured the new indoctrination returned to their people quite suspect, bearers of "foreign" ideas. It took World War II to change all that. Many Navajo boys who reported to in duction stations were turned down for illiter acy, but 3,600 were accepted. Some of them became "code talkers" in the Marines-using the Navajo language to broadcast and receive orders over the radio, to the bafflement of the listening Japanese. Another 15,000 Navajos entered war work of one kind or another. When they returned, they told the People what the world was like. After the war the Navajo Tribal Council insisted that the Gov 818 ernment live up to General Sherman's pledge. When the Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1950, authorizing an appropria tion of $88,570,000, the Government set out to do just what that name implied. A check showed that only about 11,000 Navajo chil dren were getting schooling; another 13,000 were not. But by 1957 the enrollment had swelled to 27,000, with fewer than 3,000 still evading the three R's. All sorts of schools were built and enlarged - central boarding schools, community board ing schools, Federal day schools, public schools on and off the reservation, and mission schools (pages 840-1). Finally came the trailer schools, with the idea that "if they can't come to you, you'd better go to them." Into remote corners of the desert move 23 of these units, each with quonset-type school room and bathroom for pupils, teacher's living quarters, and sometimes room for the cook.