the navajo before the reservation era
From the time of Mexican Independence to the US Civil War, the Navajo (Diné in their own language) went from being semi-nomadic sheep-herding mounted raiders who had dominated their region for over a century to a besieged people facing the combined force of the US military, and the old foes of New Mexican settlers and enemy American Indians. Despite extreme hardship, a lack of strong central leadership, and the rapidly changing politics of the colonialist government attempting to control them, the Diné managed to negotiate and pressure their way to regaining a lost homeland and way of life. While their story is ultimately one of loss, it is also one of survival – from the small victory in 1868 to today, the Navajo Nation has grown to have the most land of any reservation at over 27,000 square miles of ancestral land and more recognized members than any other tribe with just over 300,000. Delegates will take on the role of loosely allied Diné leaders respected for their wisdom, their military abilities, and their political and economic relationships with trade partners and enemies. Your mission: to survive and flourish as a people.
Gabe is a second year in the College deftly struggling between majoring in Political Science, double majoring in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, or going for broke and staying a fifth year at UChicago. Hailing from Madison, CT, he divides his time between exploring the intricacies of international affairs and feeding his curiosity in language through speaking Arabic, Hebrew, and French. Outside of class, Gabe is a member of ChoMUN, a delegate on the traveling team, a researcher for the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, and a writer for the Chicago Journal of Foreign Policy. He enjoys eating great food, running, and endless dad jokes or bad puns. Dutifully serving as an Assistant Chair for A Tryst with Fate: The First Class of the Titanic (ChoMUN XIX), and before that competing for his alma mater, Choate, in the northeast Model UN circuit, Gabe is excited to tie together his love of MUN with the raw excitement of the Navajo front. He looks forward to seeing you at ChoMUN XX!
Joseph Beutel is a fourth year majoring in Mathematics and Physics. He hails from Needham, MA, but grew up in Chicago. This past year he first tried ChoMUN by serving as an Assistant Chair for “In the Palace of the Gods: Courtiers of the Sapa Inca.” He decided he liked ChoMUN enough to try running his own committee based on his interest in the American Southwest. His other activities include acting in theatrical productions, acrobatics, playing guitar, thinking about board game mechanics, backpacking, and partying like tomorrow is the last day on Earth (which it may well be as we are very past the 2012 apocalypse deadline).