STORIES

Broken promises
Broken promises

Mae Horseman is a former Navajo Nation judge and now serves on the local government of the Nahata Dziil Chapter in the New Lands. She says relocation was hardest on elderly Navajos like her mother because most had never lived in another place.

Some Navajos embraced the idea of moving away from the reservation, to new homes with modern conveniences such as electricity and running water. But for most people, the prospect of moving meant a loss of economic stability, spiritual connection and familial support.

Throughout the Navajo New Lands, burned-up houses litter the high-desert landscape because people cannot call the fire department, which is located as far as 30 miles away from some homes.

Broken promises
Broken promises

Mae Horseman is a former Navajo Nation judge and now serves on the local government of the Nahata Dziil Chapter in the New Lands. She says relocation was hardest on elderly Navajos like her mother because most had never lived in another place.

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Dislocated:

Contested Homeland

Better than no job
Better than no job

Glendora Burnside has been tending the window at the Ole Red Barn liquor store for a decade. There are few jobs in this remote area 45 miles west of Gallup along Interstate 40. Like the other women who work here, Burnside is a single mom. So she figures this job is better than no job.

Glendora Burnside, 12 year employee of Red Barn Trading Post, keeps a log book of every customer who makes a purchase. The log book consists of names, identification information and any details of the individual Burnside feels should be noted.

The path to recovery
The path to recovery

Marjorie Brown stopped drinking 17 years ago. She says she is praying that her relatives will stop abusing alcohol too. Alcohol and drugs became a poisonous salve for some relocatees who were overwhelmed by the stress of moving, paying bills and joblessness. Residents say the preponderance of liquor stores in the area — and the lack of other businesses — has been a curse on the New Lands.

Better than no job
Better than no job

Glendora Burnside has been tending the window at the Ole Red Barn liquor store for a decade. There are few jobs in this remote area 45 miles west of Gallup along Interstate 40. Like the other women who work here, Burnside is a single mom. So she figures this job is better than no job.

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Dislocated:

Elders take on liquor stores

A source of pride
A source of pride

Padres Mesa cowboys and New Lands ranchers crack jokes and tease one another before a cattle drive. Ranching is a common bond throughout the community.

The New Lands settlements are located within 352,000 acres of ranchland carpeted with tall grass, sagebrush and squatty conifers. The 14 range communities were intended to be similar to the living arrangements that Navajo families left behind in the disputed land.

A livestock salve
A livestock salve

Frank Nelson is a rancher from East Mill, Ariz., in the New Lands. After he relocated from Big Mountain, Ariz., Nelson found it easy to buy alcohol and became an alcoholic. These days, Nelson spends his time ranching instead of drinking.

A source of pride
A source of pride

Padres Mesa cowboys and New Lands ranchers crack jokes and tease one another before a cattle drive. Ranching is a common bond throughout the community.

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Dislocated:

Livestock tradition endures

Bayer keeps a constant awareness of his surroundings. At times he struggles with school work when studying from home.

Robert Bayer, a Northern Arizona University (NAU) student, had difficulty searching for residence his senior year. After short notice, Bayer stumbled across a Craigslist advertisement at the Americana Inn, a motel located in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The Americana Inn created postcards for travelers and guests who came to the motel for a stay. The postcard was printed in 1960.

Bayer keeps a constant awareness of his surroundings. At times he struggles with school work when studying from home.

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Robert

The second annual race took place on June 20, 2015 with bikers pedaling the 160 miles from Oscoda to Sleeping Bear Dunes, watching the sunrise over Lake Huron and the sunset over Lake Michigan on the same day.

Nick Thompson, Jeff Thompson, Ben Thompson, and Mike MacDougall prepare for the Michigan Race Against the Sun. The Thompson family and supporters raised funds for Area 9 Special Olympics in dedication to Jeff Thompson.

An engraved bowling ball, "Wolf Man" for Jeff Thompson, as he is an avid bowler for the Special Olympics. Many know Thompson as "The Wolfman" for being a dedicated Bay City Central Wolves fan.

The second annual race took place on June 20, 2015 with bikers pedaling the 160 miles from Oscoda to Sleeping Bear Dunes, watching the sunrise over Lake Huron and the sunset over Lake Michigan on the same day.

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Race Against the Sun

Jeff Thompson