WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Navajo Nation Treaty of 1868:
"The Navajo Nation Treaty represents an unending promise from the United States to honor the sovereignty, self-governance, and ancestral homeland of the Navajo people. The 1868 treaty established the government to government relationship that exists between the Navajo Nation and the federal government; a unique political relationship that I fully respect and honor. It also stands as a living reminder of the incredible resistance and resilience of the Diné.
"Today, we solemnly remember the United States Army's brutal occupation of Navajo land, the forced relocation of thousands to the Bosque Redondo encampment, those who struggled and perished along the way, and the people who survived horrific living conditions before they were finally able to return to their homeland. In their memory, I remain committed to the ongoing work to better fulfill the federal government's trust responsibility to support the Navajo Nation's self-governance through education, health care, water access, housing, infrastructure, public safety, and cultural preservation.
"I also join in celebrating the perseverance, pride, and vitality of the Navajo Nation over the last century and a half. The Nation's history and culture reside in the mesas, mountains, and canyons that the treaty returned. But it is truly the remarkable people of the Navajo Nation-from artists and farmers to soldiers and scientists-who have built and continue to create a lasting legacy of achievements that will inspire future generations for centuries to come.
"As the Navajo Nation continues forward, so will the peoples' journey."