Date

2018

Department or Program

Religion

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Ed Silver

Abstract

Euro-American scholarship of the Diné Long Walk often concludes that the end of this traumatic experience “birthed” the Navajo Nation. This conclusion derives from the hegemonic narrative of nation-formation: the biblical Exodus, in which the people endured a grueling period in the desert and reached the “promised land” as a united people. The imposition of this narrative serves as a tool of the ongoing project of American settler colonialism. This project unpacks and challenges this presumption, in part through the use of Diné-recorded oral histories and native scholarship.

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