The year 2018 marked 150 years since the Treaty of 1868, which released the Navajo from the prison they were held in for four years. That prison is known by three names: Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo, and Hweeldi, which translates to "the Place of Suffering." Beginning in 1864, the US Government forced the Navajo to march away from their lands in Arizona to Hweeldi in New Mexico— a distance of 300 miles— what's widely known as the Long Walk. In this story, you'll hear from Navajo historians, anthropologists, young adults, medicine men, poet laureates, and from producer Jaclyn as she traces her family history and reckons with the hardships that come from a deeper understanding of historical trauma. In this story is the tension between the practice of not speaking of the past, and young Navajo people who want to know what happened to their ancestors. You'll learn how, at the signing of the peace treaty, the Navajo prayed not for the defeat of their enemies, but that their enemies would try to understand them and find empathy. Most importantly, this story roots in indigenous collective memory and confronts the absence of native people's histories from general American knowledge.
This story asks of you to greet it like a friend and for your to sit with it, even if you are uncomfortable, even if you do not understand everything along the way.
Producers: Jaclyn Roessel & Alix Blair
Consulting Editor: Ruxandra Guidi
Sound Designer: Seth Samuel
On the 150th anniversary of the Navajo Treaty, young Navajo grapple with their traumatic history produced for PRI's The World, in collaboration with Jacyln Roessel, a citizen of the Navajo Nation.
Transplanted Traditions: From Southeast Asia to North Carolina produced for the Gravy Podcast. This piece came together from teaching a summer audio documentary workshop to seven Karen refugee teenagers at the Transplanting Traditions Community Farm in Carrboro, North Carolina. This is story of their interwoven voices and experiences as they learned audio gear, recording, interviewing, and keeping an audio diary. "From pop songs on the radio to intimate moments in the kitchen with their families, they provide us, in this episode, with a little glimpse into their world."
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I made other stories for Third Coast's competitions over the years:
This one is about ghosts in the cemetery near my house.
This one is about loss.
Other stories I have produced: