Bosque Redondo Memorial: Digital Collections

Challenging History

A park ranger found this letter in 1990, left at the Navajo traveler's shrine, behind this building. Except this building did not exist then. What stood here was a recreation of a soldiers' barrack, with a small exhibition that interpreted the history of the U.S. Army from 1862 to 1868. There was little information about the million-acre concentration camp that the soldiers oversaw or the more than 10,000 Mescalero Apaches and Navajos who were interned here as part of the U.S. government’s attempt to eradicate these tribes.

This letter inspired community members and elected officials to develop a memorial to the atrocities committed here. A collaborative effort between the State of New Mexico, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Navajo Nation, and many volunteers led to the opening of the Bosque Redondo Memorial in 2005. It is now a member of the International Sites of Conscience.

This website has been more than thirty years in the making and it will never be finished. The website is meant to be continuously updated, with input from the communities directly impacted by what happened at this site. For each topic in the sequence of events, you will see two voices. One is from the curator and draws from archival sources. The other is from members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe and Navajo Nation and draws from the oral tradition and scholarship of these communities. Throughout the site, you will be guided by the communities' living knowledge of what happened during the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo.


This article and image comes from the Bosque Redondo digital collection