Religion: Yazzie & the Navahos

Nestled at the foot of towering bluffs of red sandstone at Window Rock, Ariz. is the great, octagonal Council House of the Navahos. One day last week it was jampacked with impassive Indians┬Śnew-style Indians with white man's haircuts and business suits, old-style Indians, longhaired and loaded with jewelry to show their wealth. There were many medicine men among them, and they shifted their silver-studded medicine bags on their shoulders as they waited for Yazzie.

"Yazzie" is Navaho for "Shorty," the affectionate nickname of Franciscan Father Berard Haile (rhymes with wryly), who has spent 53 of his close to 80 years laboring to...

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