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The Bob Fitch Photography Archive Movements for Change

New Mexico Navajo Protest, 1974 53 items

The phrase "Indian rolling" -- assault or murder of Native Americans by non-natives -- came into use in the spring of 1974 when three Navajos were beaten and killed by white teenagers in the town of Farmington, New Mexico. The perpetrators were sent to reform school for the crime. Organized and led by American Indian Movement (AIM) members, protests by tribal members were intense but nonviolent. Demonstrations became more confrontational when march permits were revoked or refused. In May 1974 Bob Fitch investigated and documented the murders and protests, having learned about them from Santa Fe investigative journalist Don Devereaux. Farmington is located in the southwest "four corners" region, near the conjunction of four states -- Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Most of the region belongs to the Hopi, Ute, Zuni & Navajo nations. Border town racism and violent incidents continue today.