Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers, Colonel Tappan, and the Navajo Treaty’s 155th Commemoration


When:  Thursday, May 18, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Where:  Crowell Chapel, Rosedale Ave. | Manchester

Info: manchesterpl.org

An important part of US history is coming to a local source when the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers are visiting Manchester later this month from the Navajo Nation for the 155th commemoration of the Navajo Treaty.

The dancers will be acknowledging the life and legacy of Colonel Tappan and the key role he played in negotiating the 1868 Navajo Treaty.  This settlement established the right of return for the Diné (the Navajos) to their ancestral homelands, the only treaty to do so.  

The agreement was signed by two Indian Peace Commissioners, Colonel Samuel F. Tappan of Manchester (1831-1913) and General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891).  On June 1, 1868, twelve headmen of the Navajo Tribe, plus an additional council of 17, made their “X” marks as acceptance of a treaty with the U.S. Government.  This allowed them to return to their ancestral lands after a devastating upheaval—the grueling Long Walk to a desolate land hundreds of miles away where they were imprisoned for four years.

It was the treaty, the “Naal Tsoos Sani,” that relieved them of their suffering.  Because of its significance, it is revered by the Navajos, giving them a new beginning, and establishing them as a sovereign nation.  Treaty Day, June 1, is celebrated every year by the Navajo Nation. Its meaning for them is not unlike our 4th of July.

In 2018, one of Col. Tappan’s descendants, Kitty Weaver found the third missing copy in her home in Manchester.  It’s now known as the “Tappan Copy,” and Weaver traveled to return it to the Navajo Nation, where it is housed today in the people’s Museum at Window Rock Arizona.

The Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers will be blessing Samuel F. Tappan’s house, which still stands in town, the morning of Thursday, May 18, with a public program to follow that evening at Crowell Chapel.

As performing ambassadors to the Great Navajo Nation, the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers, under the direction of Shawn Price, are a group of young, talented, and disciplined individuals.  It is the first visit for the Navajos to Manchester.  The dancers have received many accolades for sharing their cultural programs across the country.  Their unique program offers the finest in traditional and semi-contemporary performances.  They have performed at many distinguished events and premiere venues throughout the country. 

navajo, western united states, navajo history, treaty of bosque redondo, shawn price, kitty weaver, samuel f. tappan, william tecumseh sherman, crowell chapel, u.s. government