Broken Rainbow (Forced Relocation of the Navajo)

Broken Rainbow (Forced Relocation of the Navajo)

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John Ahni Schertow
November 8, 2008
 

Broken Rainbow is a 1985 documentary film about the industry-led and government-enforced relocation of more than 10,000 Navajo from their traditional lands.

On December 1974 Congress passed “The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act” which authorized the partitioning of the Joint Use Area (JUA) of the Navajo and Hopi Nations, and established the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Commission (NHIRC) which led the relocation.

Soon after, countless of the most traditional and culturally-intact Dineh (Navajo) people were stripped from the only world they knew — and thrown into a cold and rootless way of life.

This documentary traces the events that led to this devastating relocation – as well as the history of both the Hopi and Navajo Nations, who’s dispute over land was used by the government to justify it.

Indeed, the government claimed that the relocation was to help bring an end to that dispute. The real reason, however, was to open up the region for coal and uranium exploitation.

The forced relocation of the Navajo continues to this day.

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