The Return of Navajo Boy

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Associated Press: Film Exposes Family, Land History

Published: May 1, 2000
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The Associated Press reported in 2000 about the stirring reunion of John Wayne Cly and his family as documented in “The Return of Navajo Boy”:

“All my life I felt I never fit in with anyone,” he said. About three years ago, he read a newspaper article about the Chicago filmmakers who had found the family that were the subjects of an amateur documentary, and how one of them was Bernie Cly, Begay’s brother and a former uranium miner seeking compensation from the government. John Wayne Cly had found his family.

The documentary captures John Wayne Cly’s reunion, his nervous approach to the family he had not seen in 40 years and the fierce, wailing hug from Begay, his long-lost sister.

“I hope I’m not a disappointment to you,” John Wayne Cly says during the reunion. He has not been, Begay said. The siblings now visit frequently, and John Wayne Cly, now in his mid-40s, is starting to learn the Navajo language that he had lost but that his siblings prefer.

Read the full article as a PDF. Reprinted with permission.

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