Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk

Univ. of New Mexico. Apr. 2021. 192p. ISBN 9780826362339. $27.95. MEMOIR
In this work, Eskeets and Kristofic (Navajos Wear Nikes) collaborate to tell the story of Eskeets completing an ultrarun to honor survivors of the Long Walk; the book also includes a condensed history of the Diné people. The authors explain the history of the Long Walk, when, between 1863 and 1866, the U.S. military marched Diné men, women, and children 250 to 450 milesfrom their ancestral lands to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in current-day New Mexico. Eskeets and Kristofic do an effective job weaving stories together with metaphors for acknowledging pain—both the physical toll of Eskeets’s run and the inherited trauma passed down through generations of his Diné family. The poetic passages by Kristofic (who grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona but isn’t an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation) thoroughly trace these long-lasting impacts. The book uses appropriate terms from the Diné language to refer to the people and places of the Navajo Nation. Possibly the only deficit of this book is that it doesn’t explore in more detail the health care inequities facing the Navajo Nation and other Indigenous peoples in the U.S.
VERDICT This memoir is a solid read for patrons who would like to learn more about the Long Walk, and for patrons who would like to know more about Diné culture.
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