The Farmington Daily Times reported on how “The Return of Navajo Boy” reunited John Wayne Cly with his family:
Little did Spitz know that when he named the
future documentary “The Return of Navajo Boy,” the title would fulﬁll its own prophecy. When Spitz shared the old movie with people in Monument Valley, identities began to emerge. Jimmy Cly was the actual “Navajo Boy” His cousin, Elsie Mae Cly, was having her hair wrapped by their grandmother, Happy Cly. Richard Blackwater knew he was the boy with Happy Cly in the healing ceremony. John Wayne Cly was taken from his home by white missionaries when he was 2 years old and his mother and grandmother became ill. He was raised by a white foster mother near Thoreau, and the Cly family never saw him again.
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