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Title: A Zuni Life: A Pueblo Indian in Two Worlds

Author(s): Virgil Wyaco (Author)

A Zuni Indian writes about leaving the pueblo to attend the BIA boarding school in Albuquerque in 1936.

In 1936, when I was in the sixth grade, I heard about the Indian School in Albuquerque, one of the BIA boarding schools, and I thought about having a different lifestyle and learning new things in a big city. My principal, Mrs. Gonzales, sent in an a...

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Title: The Odyssey Ends

Source(s): Indeh: An Apache Odyssey

Author(s): Eugene Chihuahua (Author); Eve Ball (Author)

Apache Eugene Chihuahua remembers what life was like when the US imprisoned his people at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The Comanches, Kiowas, and Kiowa-Apaches hauled us and our handful of possessions to Cache Creek. What blankets and other things we’d put in the baggage cars were destroyed. So we set to work to make brush shelters the old way. Where saplings grew ...

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Title: A Voice

Source(s): My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing the narrator’s mother’s struggle to learn English.

Even the lights on the stage unrelenting as the desert sun couldn’t hide the other students, their eyes also unrelenting, students who spoke English every night as they ate their meat, potatoes, gravy. Not you. In your house that smelled lik...

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Title: Bailando en Sombras

Author(s): María L. Leyba (Author)

A poet dreams of her lost mother.

I lay curled in a veil of luto wide awake, eyelids that refuse to close hungry for my Mother's Tongue my restless soul drawn like magnets to sacred grounds donde bailo en sombras buscando mi querida madrecita. Mama's favorite rancheras echo i...

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Title: Grandfather

Source(s): Voices from the Rio Grande: Selections from the first Rio Grande Writers Conference

Author(s): Leroy Quintana (Author)

A poet writes about his grandfather, who long ago walked barefoot to Wyoming to herd sheep.

Grandfather, who planted corn every year walked to Wyoming to herd sheep so many times he said he couldn't remember how many I have been told that in his youth it took two men to wrestle him off his feet As an old man shouldered railr...

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Title: Navajo Code Talkers

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

During World War II, many Navajos serving in the Marine Corps worked as “code talkers,” using a code in the Navajo language that the Japanese forces could not break for relaying information between US troops.

Although the United States government finally granted citizenship to Native Americans in 1924, the states of New Mexico and Arizona denied native people the right to vote until 1948. Nevertheless, during World War I (1917-1919) many Native Americans,...

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Title: Salt of the Earth

Author(s): Michael Wilson (Author); Deborah S. Rosenfelt (Author); Michael Wilson (Author)

This script for a movie describes staging a strike by Mexican-American workers against the Empire Zinc Mine in Hanover, New Mexico, 1950-1952. The strike really happened, and the movie made it famous.

Medium shot: the first truck. The Anglo scabs standing in the back of the truck react in fear and consternation. But they stay where they are. Medium long shot: miners on hillside. A group of them start coming down the hill. We can see Charley an...

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Title: La Tierra Amarilla: Its History, Architecture, and Cultural Landscape

Author(s): Chris Wilson (Author); David Kammer (Author)

A brief history of the Tierra Amarilla land grant.

Two events in the early 1880s marked a turning point in the development of the region. The effects of the first, the arrival of the railroad in 1880, were quickly felt; the effects of the second, the final confirmation of the Tierra Amarilla Grant in...

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Title: Desert Wife

Author(s): Hilda Faunce (Author)

An Anglo woman writes about her life on a trading post on the Navajo reservation before WW I.

I was glad enough for an excuse to go into a hogan and especially the Old Lady’s. I started right after breakfast. Ken said any hour at all was visiting hour for Indians, so it could be for me too. I had studied the outside of the Navajo homes from...

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Title: The Taking of San Joaquin, October 1966

Source(s): They Called Me “King Tiger”: My Struggle for the Land and Our Rights

Author(s): Reies López Tijerina (Author); José Gutiérrez (Translator)

In the 1960s, Reies Lopez Tijerina organized northern New Mexico villagers as descendants of original land grantees in a series of protests and demonstrations to recover their rights to the land.

That the government would question the right of the people to their land was a cruel and unjust violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. I now sought to open a new door to the halls of justice. When Ed Stanton fought for the grant in Socorro, he...

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