Washington : Government Printing Office
|Proclamation||Ante, p. 123.|
The Navajo Indian Tribe of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah signed a final peace treaty with the United States in 1868. This treaty, signed by 29 Navajo headmen and 10 officers of the United States Army on June 1, 1868, officially recognized the sovereignty of the Navajo Tribe.
This treaty was ratified by the Senate of the United States on July 23, 1868, and was proclaimed by President Andrew Johnson on August 12, 1868.
The terms of the treaty and its mutual acceptance brought to an end a tragic four-year period of suffering, hardship, deprivation, and exile of the Navajo Tribe from its usual tribal area to detention at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on the banks of the Pecos River.
This is the centennial year of the signing, ratification, and proclaiming of the 1868 treaty. In the intervening 100 years, the number of Navajos has increased from about 8,350 to more than 100,000. And, contrary to the general trend toward reduction of tribal land holdings, the Navajo lands have increased from about 3.5 million acres in 1868 to about 12 million acres. The tribe is now the Nation's largest in number and resides on the largest reservation.
The tribe's forest industries, oil and mineral wealth, agriculture, arts and crafts, and the recent welcome to the reservation of nationally known manufacturing firms, make the Navajos an outstanding example of a people who have moved with the new century while still holding fast to their Indian identity, ancient beliefs, and creeds.
I recited the progress of the Navajos earlier this year when I spoke by telephone to Indian leaders and supporters gathered at a dinner in Gallup, New Mexico, formally launching observance of the Navajo centennial year.
Last month I mentioned progress of the Navajos in the message I sent to the Congress on the Indian American—the Forgotten American.
Now, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 17, 1968, has requested the President to designate the calendar year 1968 as the centennial of the signing of the peace treaty of 1868. I am happy to honor this request.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the year 1968 as the centennial of the signing of the 1868 Treaty of Peace between the Navajo Indian Tribe and the United States; and I call upon the Governors of the States, mayors of cities, and other public officials, as well as other interested persons, organizations, and groups to observe
this centennial year of a progressive tribe of Indian Americans with appropriate celebrations and ceremonies.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-second.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON