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Send a Runner

A Navajo Honors the Long Walk
By Edison EskeetsJim Kristofic



2022 Southwest Books of the Year

The Navajo tribe, the Diné, are the largest tribe in the United States and live across the American Southwest. But over a century ago, they were nearly wiped out by the Long Walk, a forced removal of most of the Diné people to a military-controlled reservation in New Mexico. The summer of 2018 marked the 150th anniversary of the Navajos’ return to their homelands. One Navajo family and their community decided to honor that return. Edison Eskeets and his family organized a ceremonial run from Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, to Santa Fé, New Mexico, in order to deliver a message and to honor the survivors of the Long Walk.

Both exhilarating and punishing, Send a Runner tells the story of a Navajo family using the power of running to honor their ancestors and the power of history to explain why the Long Walk happened. From these forces, they might also seek the vision of how the Diné—their people—will have a future.

Contributor Bios
Edison Eskeets is a former All-American runner, coach, artist, and teacher who has been running in the Southwest for over fifty years. He served as the head of school and the dean of students for the nationally recognized Native American Preparatory School. He is the first Navajo trader to manage the Hubbell Trading Post, the oldest continuously operating trading post in Navajo country. He lives between Ganado, Arizona, and northern New Mexico.
Jim Kristofic grew up on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. He has written for the Navajo Times, Arizona Highways, Native Peoples Magazine, and High Country News. He is the author of The Hero Twins: A Navajo-English Story of the Monster Slayers, Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life, Medicine Women: The Story of the First Native American Nursing School, and Reservation Restless (all published by UNM Press). He lives in Taos, New Mexico.