Jack wrote this in February, 2006:
The tiny Alamo Band – the unforgiven:
Probably the most destitute Native Americans in the US . Descendants of the Navajo and Mescalero scouts who helped the US Army during the Navajo War of 1864.
When the Din’e and Mescalero were taken to Bosque Redondo in eastern New Mexico there was no obvious place for these scouts and their families. Even the US Army was unwilling to send them to Bosque Redondo for slaughter in punishment for the assistance they’d given.
Alamo, a temporary, tiny, rocky Rez was created for them north of Magdalena, New Mexico until a better place could be found. Later Alamo was placed under the umbrella of the larger Navajo Rez, which didn’t want them, didn’t welcome them for tribal rites and ceremonies. Didn’t claim them as kin.
They’re still there, the Alamo band. Inbred, poor disfranchised. Bereft of any tribal benefits that can be deprived by the Navajo. Unclaimed by the Mescalero.
The forgotten and unforgiven.
However, the Alamo Band is unique in one regard. Even though they began as only temporary stewards of the land, they took care of it. Today, the Rez hasn’t been made a parking lot, a strip mine, a garbage dump, nor a nuclear waste disposal site. It hasn’t been over-grazed and eroded into a blanket of abraded arroyos.
Maybe it ain’t so bad, being forgotten and unforgiven, even though it’s hard living for them.