Negotiations on Track to Get 1868 Treaty to Navajo Nation Museum

Navajo Times | File
A manufactured copy of the Treaty of 1868 hangs in the Navajo Nation Museum in February.

Published July 16, 2017

WINDOW ROCK – A representative from the National Archives is expected to visit Window Rock next month and if everything goes well, the tribe should get final approval to display the last known original copy of the Treaty of 1868 in time for the 150th anniversary of its signing next year.

The idea came from the man who brought the Navajo versions of “Star Wars” and “Finding Nemo” — Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler.

Wheeler has been working on getting the treaty out to Navajoland since early this spring. The treaty, which was displayed at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., last year, currently resides in the National Archives.

Wheeler said Wednesday he has been in talks with officials at the National Archives who have expressed interest in allowing the museum to display the treaty for the month of June 2018 if certain requirements are met. “This will be monumental,” said Wheeler, who added that this will mark the first time the treaty has been on the reservation.

In the 1990s, the treaty was displayed in Flagstaff for a brief period of time, giving thousands of Navajos a chance to see the actual document. A lot of things still have to be ironed out — such as security and how the treaty will be displayed. “This is a very important historic document and it needs to be handled carefully,” Wheeler said.

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