How the Navajo Nation became the epicenter of Coronavirus: Effects of Historical Land Displacement
My name is Alexandra Vidal and I’m a History Graduate Student at Rutgers-Newark. I’ve decided to write about the Navajo Nation and the historical events that have made it possible for their population to be affected by the Coronavirus epidemic so severely. I decided to undertake this site because I came to realize that throughout my student career I’ve studied or read about populations all across the world, from the Kingdoms of Africa to the Cultural Revolution of China, but I was never truly educated on the past and present historical struggles of our most disenfranchised people. My goal with this paper is to teach myself and others more about the Navajo People.
Project Site Description:
The Project Site’s time period begins in 1866 in The Long Walk, it begins here to explain how the Navajo were forcibly displaced to New Mexico and how this environment has caused them to lack electricity and running water till this day. It will then analyze how their location in the New Mexico desert has caused them to lack access to healthcare and communal institutions in the modern-day, all which worsened the impact of the Coronavirus. These components will be used to analyze how their environmental inequalities exacerbated the effects of Coronavirus on their community. The historical actors are the US Government, the Navajo People, and community leaders. The historical question that the paper will focus on is what long-term effects did the displacement of the Navajo people have on their ability to efficiently create communal and health care structures? And how have these inequalities contributed to them being at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic? The larger significance of this paper is to bring to light how environmental inequalities are systematically ignored and perpetuated by the U.S. Government going back decades.
Keywords: Race, Water, Coronavirus, Indigenous, Land