The History and Near Extinction of the Churro
The History of the Navajo Sheep Project
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"For the last several years I have followed and supported the Navajo Sheep Project because it is a unique project which involves Navajo traditional social, educational and economic structure of my people (Navajo). According to what we know of our history as told by our old people, the base economy on which the Navajo culture and religion continue to grow because of a unique animal which we called "old type Navajo sheep (Churro). It is b the use of this sheep for food and clothing the Navajo population increased. It also provided an opportunity to develop a hand weaving skills for famous Navajo rugs."
"Over a long period of time, there were a large decrease and reduction in sheep numbers by the federal government. The reduction continued until there were less than 800 head of these sheep."
"Understanding this situation, Dr. Lyle McNeal, studied this situation and started an efford(sic)[effort] to preserve these sheep along with all the Navajo cultural impact. Dr. Lyle McNeal has been visiting the remote areas of the Navajo land looking for what few Navajo type sheep were left. He took a few of these sheep to Utah State University to improve and preserve them. Many of these sheep are returned after breeding back to Navajo families who are now helping to increase this stock. My view of what Dr. McNeal has accomplished up to now is that a dying breed of sheep is being preserved and in turn our Navajo social, educational and economic well being is also in process of being saved."
"Looking back over our rich history of life and art, it is sad to think what it would be like without an animal that was so vital to our life. I would recommend any financial help you maybe able to provide to the Navajo Sheep Project."

Sincerely, Dr. Annie Wauneka
Klagetoh, Arizona
January 25, 1988
Dr. Annie Wauneka(middle) with Dr.McNeal (left) and her daughter Irma Bluehouse(right)
The "legendary mother," of the Navajo People, the late Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka
Dr. Wauneka is the only Native American to ever have received the United States of America highest civilian award, The Medal of Freedom, nominated by President John F. Kennedy, and presented the award shortly after President Kennedy's untimely death, by President Lyndon B. Johnson

For Futher Information or to send a donation contact:

Young boy with a Navajo-Churro Lamb The Navajo Sheep Project
P.O. Box 6445
North Logan, Utah 84322

or Call (435)258-2833
Dr. Lyle McNeal at Utah State University
(435) 797-2150
Futher Information Websites:

The Navajo Churro Association
Dine Be iina Navajo Life Way

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