Releases | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

All New Mexico state museums and historic sites are open to the public. Some programs and venues may not be fully operational. Find out more about how we are keeping our staff and visitors safe.

“Bosque Redondo: A Place of Suffering…A Place of Survival” is open to the public; Grand Opening postponed until May 2022

September 24th, 2021

New Mexico Historic Sites announces the public opening of the permanent exhibit “Bosque Redondo: A Place of Suffering…A Place of Survival” at Bosque Redondo Memorial/Fort Sumner Historic Site. In an effort to ensure that all international and tribal partners can travel to the site and participate, the Grand Opening celebration, originally scheduled for October 9, 2021, has been rescheduled for May 28, 2022.  The site has been welcoming visitors to experience the new exhibit since a soft opening on July 1.  

“Why don’t you tell our story?” asked a letter left at the Fort Sumner Historic Site Navajo Traveler Shrine in the summer of 1990. The question came from 17 visiting Navajo (Diné) students who felt their ancestral trauma had been erased from the historical record, requesting that the true history of the Navajo Long Walk be told through the site’s interpretation.  

The Navajo Long Walk took place between 1863 and 1868 when the U.S. government forced the relocation of Navajo and Mescalero Apache peoples from their homeland in present-day Arizona to eastern New Mexico, across more than 300 miles. Over those five years, about 9,500 Navajo (Diné) and 500 Mescalero Apache (Ndé) were tortured and imprisoned by the U.S. military on the Bosque Redondo Reservation.  

Designed through a partnership with the Navajo Nation and the Mescalero Apache Tribe, “A Place of Suffering…A Place of Survival” features for the first time voices from the communities most affected by the Navajo Long Walk in the form of oral histories (in English, Diné, and Ndé), contemporary quotes, and imagery to explain what life was like before, during, and after the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation system.  

The exhibit uniquely incorporates the outside world to the inside gallery through the use of skylights and fiberoptic light bundles. There are more than 10,000 light bundles, illuminated by natural light, each one representing a Diné or Ndé individual who was forced to march to the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation.  

The exhibition also features state-of-the-art digital interactives including a Treaty of 1868 touchscreen to allow visitors to hear each page in the Diné language or explore how each article affected the Diné later in life, and another interactive that features a reflection touchscreen to engage audiences and to create a space where community feedback is directly included in the exhibition. 

 

About New Mexico Historic Sites
New Mexico Historic Sites is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The New Mexico Historic Sites system was established in 1931 by an Act for the Preservation of the Scientific Resources of New Mexico. The eight Historic Sites include Coronado, Fort Selden, Fort Stanton, Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial, Jemez, Lincoln, and Los Luceros.   


### 

# # #

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

John P. Stapp Air & Space Park

Named after International Space Hall of Fame Inductee and aeromedical pioneer Dr. John P. Stapp, the Air and Space Park
more »

The Palace Seen and Unseen: A Convergence of History and Archaeology

Reflecting current archaeological and historical perspectives, Palace Seen and Unseen draws from historic documents,
more »

Michael Naranjo Touching Beauty Exhibit

On display in the Bataan Building Atrium Gallery: Touching Beauty Now, sculpture by Santa Clara Pueblo’s Michael
more »

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now sweeps across more than 500 years of history—from the state’s
more »