1850’s: US government offered vaccinations to Navajos

1860’s: Interchange between Native American Medicine and Western Medicine

1864: “The Long Walk”: Troops killed and led people from Navajoland to Fort Sumner on a 450mile long journey. Over 8,000 Navajos made the trip and many died along the way.

1864-1930: Navajos were not trading in traditional beliefs

Effects of the “Long Walk”
 -physical toll
-Removal of the
Diné sacred land led to loss of herbs and other remedies from Diné Bikéyah
-practitioners died from physical strains. This led to the loss of knowledge that the practitioners were not able to pass on.
-Some singers and medicine men survived. They continued with ceremonies and used them to counteract daily exposure with non-Indian ills and exposure to their own dead.
-Healers and herbalists devised new remedies to counteract syphilis and other new diseases.
-Navajo healers not recognized by Western Medicine practitioners.
1865: Army built hospitals and provides physicians at Fort Sumner
-Not enough to fix problem (overcrowding and tainted water)
-Rampant Diseases: dysentery, cholera, small pox, measles, syphilis
-Inconsistent rations of food, and new types of food, lack of knowledge of new food preparation led to malnutrition.
1868:  Treaty between the US and Navajos- didn’t supply doctors until 1872

3 decades after 1868: Navajo people are allowed to return to their original land. Western Medicine was not a high priority to federal government with in Navajo reservation.
1873: Established education and medical division in its office of Indian affairs
1886-1910: Navajos got medications from traders who cared about their well being as they were their main clients. 
1890: No nurses employed. Only 25 served on reservations at turn of the century.
1897: Christians built first hospital to serve Navajos. “Good Sheppard Hospital”
1900: Medical division had only 83 physicians. Enough for only half of Indian agencies in the reservation.
1918: NAC created by Oklahoma practitioners for the sole purpose of providing legal protection from federal and state harassment of use of peyote. It was a new source of power in a time of economic and mental deprivation.
      1920’s: Western Medicine had little impact before the 1920’s
      -“The New Deal” years changed medical care in Navajo country

     1930’s: BIA shift to try to connect healers and Western Medicine practitioners; Continued opposition          between groups and no acceptance of each other.
-Rise of peyote religion as a form of spiritualism and healing. Some negative reactions from the US government and non-peyotist Navajos.

     1940: Tribal law against peyote, and continued to make peyote illegal through 1963.

     1950’s-1960’s: After WWII peyote religion grew rapidly. In this time period about 35 to 45% of Navajos in 1965 took part in the NAC meetings. It helped people with alcoholism, spirituality and healing

     1960’s: Navajos believed that the traditional healing way would not survive.

     1967: Tribal council legalized peyote use for NAC members.

     1968-1983: Navajo schools incorporate training new healers into programs. Navajo healing considered to be scientifically psychotherapeutic.

     1970’s: Navajos looked for ways to preserve traditional ways.
-Traditional healing and NAC continued as an alternative and a supplement to Western Medicine.

     1978: Medicine Mans Association (MMA) formed.
-MMA persuaded tribe to pass resolution protecting ceremonial objects.

     1980’s: The Western immediate clinical care improved and that made a significant impact however, the community was drastically unhealthier from chronic diseases.

      1980’s and 1990’s: Loss of ceremonies and traditional practices accelerated. Only about 700 traditional practitioners left.
-Traditional healing was included in basic medical health care plans. Healers were reimbursed with money through medical providers. People were dissatisfied with Western Medicines treatment of chronic illness and turned to alternative medicine.

      1990: NAGPRA passed (Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act)

      1990-1999: The MMA known as the
Diné spiritual society and cultural society through this period.

      1994: House and Senate approves H.R. 4230, amending AIRFA. New law placed the burden on states to prove “overriding interests” before violating the rights of NAC members.

      1996: NAGPRA act went into effect and the Navajo Nation regained possession of a prized ceremonial artifact called the Nightway Jish. This symbolized the
Diné effort to reclaim their ceremonies.

      1997: Department of Defense (April 1997) established new policy allowing military personnel to attend peyote ceremonies while on leave.
-Tribal Council Education Committee worked with the MMA on plans for a tribe-sponsored apprentice healer training program. They officially began recruiting students in 1999.