Submitted | C.P. Weaver
The third copy of the Treaty of 1868 was in a trunk like this one in the attic of a home once owned by Col. Samuel F. Tappan, one of the drafters of the treaty. If all goes as planned, it will be donated to the Navajo Nation May 29.
Published May 23, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer are pleased to announce the generous donation of one of three original Navajo Treaty of 1868, also known as Naaltsoos Sání, documents to the Navajo Nation.
On June 1, 1868, three copies of the Treaty of 1868 were issued at Fort Sumner, N.M. One copy was presented to the U.S. Government, which is housed in the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. The second copy was given to Navajo leader Barboncito – its current whereabouts are unknown.
The third unsigned copy was presented to the Indian Peace Commissioner, Samuel F. Tappan. The original document is also known as the “Tappan Copy” is being donated to the Navajo Nation by Clare “Kitty” P. Weaver, the niece of Samuel F. Tappan, who was the Indian Peace Commissioner at the time of the signing of the treaty in 1868.
“On behalf of the Navajo Nation, it is an honor to accept the donation from Mrs. Weaver and her family. The Naaltsoos Sání holds significant cultural and symbolic value to the Navajo people. It marks the return of our people from Bosque Redondo to our sacred homelands and the beginning of a prosperous future built on the strength and resilience of our people,” said President Nez.
Following the signing of the Treaty of 1868, our Diné people rebuilt their homes, revitalized their livestock and crops that were destroyed at the hands of the federal government, he added.
“The Naaltsoos Sání will instill hope in our people because it signifies our strength and ability to overcome adversities as a Nation. We now have the opportunity to possess the original treaty to further contribute to the healing and restoration of independence, sovereignty, and self-determination of the Navajo Nation,” he added. “It inspired us to work together just like our people did after the Long Walk, so that we continue to prosper for another 150 years and beyond.”
In 2018, “Kitty” Weaver discovered the treaty in the attic of her residence. After her discovery, Mrs. Weaver, Navajo Nation Museum Executive Director Manuelito Wheeler, and President Nez began discussing the Nation’s interest in the copy. Mrs. Weaver and her husband agreed that the document’s rightful home should be within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation.
Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler stated, “We met Mrs. Kitty Weaver through the Bosque Redondo Museum when we were working with the State of New Mexico on the Navajos Long Walk to Fort Sumner exhibit. Having the copy home on the Navajo Nation would allow us to honor our past and our future.”
In accordance with Navajo law, the Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyátí’ Committee must formally accept the document donation through legislation. The law states that gifts of donations exceeding $1,000 or more must be approved by the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.
“Having the original treaty within our homelands moves our Nation forward, and it further recognizes and honors the strength, growth, healing, and resiliency of the Navajo people,” said Vice President Lizer.
Beginning on June 1, 2019, the Navajo Nation Museum invites the public to view the original Navajo Treaty of 1868 – “Tappan Copy” from June 1 – 8, 2019 in Window Rock, Arizona.