Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation

Overview
The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

-governed territory covering 27425 square miles (71,030.4 km²), occupying all of northeastern Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, the southeastern portion of Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, and northwestern New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

In English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, the initial name for the area was "Navajo Indian Reservation," governed since 1923 by the "Navajo Tribal Council." On April 15, 1969, the official name on the seal used by the government was changed to "Navajo Nation," stating that from that day on "all correspondence, stationary [sic], letterheads [...] of the Navajo Tribe use the designation 'Navajo Nation' to locate the tribe." In 1994, a proposal to change the official designation from "Navajo" to "Diné" was rejected by the council.
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Encyclopedia
The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

-governed territory covering 27425 square miles (71,030.4 km²), occupying all of northeastern Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, the southeastern portion of Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, and northwestern New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Name


In English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, the initial name for the area was "Navajo Indian Reservation," governed since 1923 by the "Navajo Tribal Council." On April 15, 1969, the official name on the seal used by the government was changed to "Navajo Nation," stating that from that day on "all correspondence, stationary [sic], letterheads [...] of the Navajo Tribe use the designation 'Navajo Nation' to locate the tribe." In 1994, a proposal to change the official designation from "Navajo" to "Diné" was rejected by the council. They said the name Diné represented the time of suffering before the Long Walk
Long Walk of the Navajo
The Long Walk of the Navajo, also called the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo , refers to the 1864 deportation of the Navajo people by the U.S. Government. Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their reservation in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. The trip lasted about 18 days...

, and that Navajo is the appropriate designation for the future.

In Navajo
Navajo language
Navajo or Navaho is an Athabaskan language spoken in the southwestern United States. It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages .Navajo has more speakers than any other Native American language north of the...

, the geographic entity with its legally defined borders is known as "." This contrasts with "" and "" for the general idea of "Navajoland." More importantly, neither of these designations should be confused with "," the term used for the traditional homeland of the Navajo people, situated in the area between the mountains (San Francisco Peaks
San Francisco Peaks
The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range located in north central Arizona, just north of Flagstaff.The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak, is the highest point in the state of Arizona at in elevation. The San Francisco Peaks are the remains of an eroded stratovolcano...

), (Hesperus Mountain), (Blanca Peak
Blanca Peak
Blanca Peak is the highest peak of the Sierra Blanca Massif at the southern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the U.S. State of Colorado. It is the fourth highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, and the eighth highest peak in the contiguous United States....

), and (Mount Taylor).

History


After the Long Walk
Long Walk of the Navajo
The Long Walk of the Navajo, also called the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo , refers to the 1864 deportation of the Navajo people by the U.S. Government. Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their reservation in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. The trip lasted about 18 days...

 and the Navajos' return from their imprisonment in Bosque Redondo,
the "Navajo Indian Reservation" was established according to the Treaty of 1868. The borders were defined as the 37th parallel Northern latitude in the North; the southern border as a line running through Fort Defiance
Fort Defiance
Fort Defiance may refer to:Canada*Fort Defiance , winter quarters for American Captain Robert GrayUnited States* Fort Defiance, Arizona, an unincorporated community* Fort Defiance , formerly Roop's Fort, located in Susanville...

; the eastern border as a line running through Fort Lyon
Fort Lyon
Fort Lyon, first named Fort Wise, was operated on the Colorado eastern plains until 1867. That year a new fort called Fort Lyon, and later Las Animas, Colorado, U.S. Naval Hospital and 5BN117, was built near the present-day town of Las Animas, Colorado. First named after Virginia governor Henry...

; and in the West as longitude 109°30′. Though the treaty had provided for one hundred miles square in the New Mexico Territory
New Mexico Territory
thumb|right|240px|Proposed boundaries for State of New Mexico, 1850The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of...

, the actual size of the territory was only 3,328,302 acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

s — slightly more than half. This initial piece of land is represented in the design of the Navajo Nation's flag by a dark-brown rectangle.

However, due to the fact that no physical boundaries or signposts were set in place, many Navajos ignored these formal boundaries and returned to where they had been prior to captivity. A significant population of Diné still resided along the Little Colorado & Colorado Rivers as well as on Naa'tsis'aan (Navajo Mountain), never suffering in the concentration camps at Hweeldi (Ft. Sumner).

The first expansion of the territory occurred on October 28, 1878, when President Rutherford Hayes signed an executive order pushing the boundary 20 miles to the West. Further additions followed throughout the late 19th and early 20th century (see map). Most of these additions originated in executive orders, some of which were confirmed by acts of Congress; for example, the executive order which added the region around Aneth
Aneth, Utah
Aneth is a census-designated place in San Juan County, Utah, United States. The population was 598 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Aneth is located at ....

 in 1905 was later confirmed by Congress in 1933.

The history of the Eastern border was mostly shaped by the Dawes Act
Dawes Act
The Dawes Act, adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide the land into allotments for individual Indians. The Act was named for its sponsor, Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891 and again...

 of 1887. In an attempt to "civilize" Native Americans, the federal government divided selected tribal lands into small parcels (allotments) and promised U.S.-citizenship to those who had been deemed successful at farming the land according to the standards of the time. Unfarmed or "unsuccessfully" farmed parcels were subsequently declared "unclaimed" and auctioned off to Anglo-American settlers. The program continued until 1934. While the Navajo reservation proper was excluded from the act's provisions, the result for the Eastern border was a patchwork of reservation and non-reservation land, known as the "checkerboard" area.

Politics



As reorganized in 1991, the Nation's government has a three branch system: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

Rejection of Indian Reorganization Act


The Navajo government has refused three times to establish a new government under the Indian Reorganization Act
Indian Reorganization Act
The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 the Indian New Deal, was U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives...

 of 1934. Members twice rejected constitutional initiatives offered by the federal government in Washington, first in 1935 and again in 1953. An initiative in 1963 failed after some members found the process to be too cumbersome and a potential threat to their self-determination. A constitution was drafted and adopted by the governing council but never ratified by the members. The earlier efforts were rejected primarily because members did not find enough freedom in the proposed forms of government to develop their livestock industries, in 1935, and their mineral resources, in 1953.

Constitution


In 2006, a Committee for a Navajo Constitution started to advocate for a Navajo constitutional convention. The committee's goal is to have representation from every chapter on the Navajo Nation represented at a constitutional convention. The committee proposes that the convention be held in the traditional na'achid/modern chapter house manner, where every member of the nation wishing to participate may do so through their home chapters. The committee was formed by three former Navajo Leaders; Kelsey Begaye, Peterson Zah, Peter MacDonald
Peter MacDonald (Navajo leader)
Peter MacDonald is a Native American politician and the only four term Chairman of the Navajo Tribe. He was born in Arizona, U.S.A., served the U.S...

, writer/social activist Ivan Gamble, and other local political activists
Reform movement
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes...

, according to Indian Country Today.

Jurisdiction


The United States still asserts plenary power to require the Navajo Nation to submit all proposed laws to the United States Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 for Secretarial Review
Secretarial Review
Secretarial Review is a part of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 . According to this law, Native American tribes were expected to write constitutions loosely resembling the United States Constitution...

, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most conflicts and controversies between the federal government and the Nation are settled by negotiation and by political agreements. Laws of the Navajo Nation are currently codified in the Navajo Nation Code.

Lands within the exterior boundaries of The Navajo Nation are composed of Public, Tribal Trust, Tribal Fee, BLM
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers America's public lands, totaling approximately , or one-eighth of the landmass of the country. The BLM also manages of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal, state and private...

, Private, State, and BIA Indian Allotment Lands. On the Arizona and Utah portion of the Navajo Nation, there are a few private and BIA Indian Allotments in comparison to New Mexico's portion which consists of a checkerboard pattern of all the aformentioned lands. The Eastern Agency, as it is referred to, consists of primarily Tribal Fee, BIA Indian Allotments, and BLM Lands. Although there are more Tribal Fee Lands in New Mexico, it is the intention of the Navajo Nation to convert most or all Tribal Fee Lands to Tribal Trust.

Executive


The Title II Amendment of 1989 established the Executive branch of the Navajo nation as an entity independent of the Council, as one part of a three branch government. It is headed by a president and vice-president who are elected every four years. It consists of several divisions, departments, offices, and programs as established by law which administer the laws of the Navajo Nation.

Law enforcement


An important executive function for the Nation is law enforcement through the Navajo Division of Public Safety, with the Navajo Nation Police (formerly the "Navajo Tribal Police"). There is also law enforcement associated with the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife: Wildlife Law Enforcement and Animal Control Sections; Navajo Nation Forestry Law Enforcement Officers; and the Navajo Nation EPA Criminal Enforcement Section,

Other local and federal law enforcement agencies that routinely work within the Navajo Nation include Navajo Nation Resource Enforcement (Navajo Rangers
Navajo Rangers
The Navajo Rangers are an organisation on the Navajo Nation in the Southwestern United States, which maintain and protect the tribal nation's public works and natural resources. The Rangers also serve as a park service, protecting natural and historical sites and assisting travelers.The...

, the BIA Police (Ute Mountain Agency, Hopi Agency, and Division of Drug Enforcement); Apache County Sheriff's Office, McKinley County Sheriff's Office, US Marshals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

.

The Navajo governing council continues a historical practice of prohibiting alcohol
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 sales within reservation boundaries. Leaders and some member groups actively oppose the sale of alcohol. They have taken several measures to find and offer treatment for residents suffering from alcoholism
Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

.

Legislative




Navajo Nation Council, formerly the Navajo Tribal Council, is the legislative branch of the Navajo Nation. , the Navajo Nation Council consists of 24 delegates representing the 110 Chapters, elected every four years by registered Navajo voters. Prior to the November 2010 election, the Navajo Nation Council consisted of 88 representatives. The Navajo voted for the change in an effort to have a more efficient government and to curb tribal government corruption associated with council members who established secure seats.

Judiciary



Prior to the Long Walk of the Navajo
Long Walk of the Navajo
The Long Walk of the Navajo, also called the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo , refers to the 1864 deportation of the Navajo people by the U.S. Government. Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their reservation in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. The trip lasted about 18 days...

, Navajo judicial powers were exercised by peace chiefs in a mediation-style process. While the people were held at Bosque Redondo, the U.S. Army handled severe crimes, while lesser crimes and disputes remained in the purview the villages chiefs. After the return from Bosque Redondo in 1868, listed offenses were handled by the Indian Agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the support of the U.S. Army, while lesser disputes remained under Navajo control.

In 1892, BIA Agent David L. Shipley established the Navajo Court of Indian Offenses, and appointed its judges. Prior to that, judicial authority had been exercised by the Indian Agent.

In 1950, the Navajo Tribal Council decided that judges should be elected. By the time of the judicial reorganization of 1958, the Council had determined that, due to problems with delayed decisions and partisan politics, appointment was a better method of selecting judges. The president makes appointments subject to confirmation by the Navajo Nation Council; however, the president is limited to the list of names vetted by the Judiciary Committee of the Council.

The current judicial system for the Navajo Nation was created by the Navajo Tribal Council on 16 October 1958. It established a separate branch of government, the "Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation Government," which became effective 1 April 1959. The Navajo Court of Indian Offenses was eliminated; the sitting judges became judges in the new system. The resolution established "Trial Courts of the Navajo Tribe" and the "Navajo Tribal Court of Appeals," which was the highest court and the only appellate court.

In 1978, the Navajo Tribal Council established a "Supreme Judicial Council," a political body rather than a court. On a discretionary basis, it could hear appeals from the Navajo Tribal Court of Appeals. Subsequently, the Supreme Judicial Council was criticized for bringing politics directly into the judicial system and undermining impartiality, fairness and equal protection.

In December 1985, the Navajo Tribal Council passed the Judicial Reform Act of 1985, which eliminated the Supreme Judicial Council. It redenominated the "Navajo Tribal Court of Appeals" as the "Navajo Nation Supreme Court", and redenominated the "Trial Courts of the Navajo Tribe" as "District Courts of the Navajo Nation". Navajo courts are governed by Title 7, "Courts and Procedures", of the Navajo Tribal Code.

From 1988 to 2006, there were seven judicial districts and two satellite courts. , there are ten judicial districts, centered respectively in Alamo (Alamo/Tó'hajiilee)
Alamo, New Mexico
Alamo is a census-designated place in Socorro County, New Mexico. The population was 1,085 at the 2010 census. It is the largest community on the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation.-Geography:Alamo is located at ....

, Aneth
Aneth, Utah
Aneth is a census-designated place in San Juan County, Utah, United States. The population was 598 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Aneth is located at ....

, Chinle
Chinle, Arizona
Chinle is a census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States. The population was 5,366 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Chinle is located at ....

, Crownpoint
Crownpoint, New Mexico
Crownpoint is a census-designated place in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 2,630 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Crownpoint is located at ....

, Dilkon
Dilkon, Arizona
Dilkon is a census-designated place in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,265 at the 2000 census. The name of the town is said to be derived from the Navajo phrase "smooth black rock" or "bare surface".- Government :...

, Kayenta
Kayenta, Arizona
Kayenta is a census-designated place which is part of the Navajo Nation and is in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. The population was 5,189 at the 2010 census. Kayenta is located south of Monument Valley and contains a number of hotels and motels which service visitors to Monument...

, Ramah
Ramah, New Mexico
Ramah is a census-designated place in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 407 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Ramah is located at...

, Shiprock
Shiprock, New Mexico
Shiprock is a census-designated place in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States, on the Navajo reservation. The population was 8,156 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Farmington Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Tuba City
Tuba City, Arizona
Tuba City is a census-designated place in Coconino County, Arizona, United States. The population was 8,225 at the 2000 census. It is the Dine' Nation's largest community, slightly larger than Shiprock, New Mexico. The Hopi town of Moenkopi lies directly to its southeast.The name of the town...

 and Window Rock
Window Rock, Arizona
Window Rock is the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. Window Rock contains the Navajo Nation Council, the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park, as well as the Navajo Nation World War II Memorial...

. All of the districts also have family courts, which have jurisdiction over domestic relations, civil relief in domestic violence, child custody and protection, name changes, quiet title and probate. , there were 17 trial judges presiding in the Navajo district and family courts.

Local and Regional Government


In the traditional Navajo culture, local leadership was organized around clans, which are matrilineal kinship groups. The clan leadership roles have served as a de facto government on the local level of the Navajo reservation. In 1927, agents of the U.S. Federal government initiated a new form of local government entities called Chapters
Chapter house (Navajo Nation)
A Chapter house is an administrative, communal meeting place on the territory of the Navajo Nation where residents have a forum to express their opinions to their Navajo Nation Council Delegate or to decide on matters concerning their chapter. As of January 2004, there were a total of 110 such...

, modeled after government forms more familiar to the Federal agents, such as counties or townships. Each Chapter elected officers and followed parliamentary procedures. By 1933, more than 100 Chapters operated across the reservation. The chapters served as liaisons between the Navajo people and the federal government, and also acted as precincts for the elections of tribal council delegates. They also served as forums for local tribal leaders. But, the chapters had no authority within the structure of the Navajo Nation government.
In 1998, the Council passed the "Local Governance Act," which extended the political roles of the existing 110 chapters, giving them authority to make decisions on behalf of the Chapter members and take over certain roles previously delegated to the Council and Executive branches. This included entering into intergovernmental agreements with federal, state and tribal entities, subject to approval by the Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the Council. In addition to the local Chapter government functions, regional government functions are carried out by the "District Grazing Committees" and "Off-Reservation Land Boards", "Major Irrigation Projects Farm Boards", and "Agency Councils".

Geography



The land area of the Navajo Nation is 24078.127 square miles (62,362.1 km²), making it by far the largest Indian reservation in the United States; it is nearly the same size as the state of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

.

Adjacent to or near the Navajo Reservation are the Southern Ute
Southern Ute Indian Reservation
The Southern Ute Indian Reservation lies in southwestern Colorado, USA, along the northern border of New Mexico. Its territory consists of land from three counties; in descending order of surface area they are La Plata, Archuleta, and Montezuma Counties. The reservation has a land area of 1,058.785...

 of Colorado, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is one of three federally recognized tribes of the Ute Nation, and are mostly descendants of the historic Weeminuche Band who moved to the Southern Ute reservation in 1897...

 of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, both to the north; the Jicarilla Apache
Jicarilla Apache
Jicarilla Apache refers to the members of the Jicarilla Apache Nation currently living in New Mexico and speaking a Southern Athabaskan language...

 to the east, and other tribes to the west and south. The Navajo Nation's territory surrounds the Hopi Indian Reservation. A conflict over shared lands emerged in the 1980s, when the Department of the Interior
United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

 attempted to relocate Diné living in the Navajo/Hopi Joint Use Area. The conflict was resolved, or at least forestalled, by the award of a 75-year lease to Navajos who refused to leave the former shared lands.

Situated within the Navajo Nation are Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation...

, Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching above the valley floor. It is located on the northern border of Arizona with southern Utah , near the Four Corners area...

, Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Rainbow Bridge National Monument is administered by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, southern Utah, USA. Rainbow Bridge is often described as the world's highest natural bridge. The span of Rainbow Bridge was reported in 1974 by the Bureau of Reclamation to be , but a laser measurement in...

, and the Shiprock
Shiprock
Shiprock is a rock formation rising nearly above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. It has a peak elevation of above the sea level. It lies about southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak...

 landmark. The eastern portion of the reservation, in New Mexico, is popularly called the "Checkerboard" because Navajo lands are mingled with fee lands, owned by both Navajos and non-Navajos, and federal and state lands under various jurisdictions. Three large non-contiguous sections entirely surrounded by New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 are also under Navajo jurisdiction: the Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation
Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation
The Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation is a non-contiguous section of the Navajo Nation lying in parts of west-central Cibola and southern McKinley counties in New Mexico, USA, just east and southeast of the Zuni Indian Reservation. It has a land area of 230.675 sq mi , over 95 percent of which is...

, the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation, and the Tohajiilee Indian Reservation
Tohajiilee Indian Reservation
The Tohajiilee Indian Reservation, formerly known as the Canoncito Indian Reservation, is a non-contiguous section of the Navajo Nation lying in parts of western Bernalillo, eastern Cibola, and southwestern Sandoval counties in New Mexico, USA, west of the city of Albuquerque. It has a land area of...

.

The Tribal Trust lands have no private land ownerships, and all Tribal Trust land is owned in common and administered by the Nation's government. On the other hand, BIA Indian Allotment lands are privately owned by the heirs and generations of the original BIA Indian Allotee to whom it was issued. With Tribal Trust lands, leases are made both to customary land users (for homesites, grazing, and other uses) and organizations, which may include BIA and other federal agencies, churches and other religious organizations, as well as private or commercial businesses.

Administrative divisions


The Navajo Nation is divided into five agencies, with the seat of government located in Window Rock/Tségháhoodzání
Window Rock, Arizona
Window Rock is the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. Window Rock contains the Navajo Nation Council, the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park, as well as the Navajo Nation World War II Memorial...

. These agencies are similar to provincial entities and match the five Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agencies. The five agencies within the Navajo Indian Reservation are Chinle Agency, Eastern Navajo Agency, Western Navajo Agency, Fort Defiance Agency, and Shiprock Agency. The BIA agencies provide various technical services under direction of the BIA's Navajo Area Office in Gallup, New Mexico
Gallup, New Mexico
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 20,209 people, 6,810 households, and 4,869 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,513.7 people per square mile...

. Agencies are further divided into Chapters
Chapter house (Navajo Nation)
A Chapter house is an administrative, communal meeting place on the territory of the Navajo Nation where residents have a forum to express their opinions to their Navajo Nation Council Delegate or to decide on matters concerning their chapter. As of January 2004, there were a total of 110 such...

, similar to counties, as the smallest political unit.

Daylight Saving Time


The Nation is the only region within the state of Arizona that observes Daylight Saving Time
Daylight saving time
Daylight saving time —also summer time in several countries including in British English and European official terminology —is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less...

 (DST); it does this to have consistency among its peoples, as some of the Nation is located within the boundaries of two other states that observe DST. The remainder of Arizona, including the Hopi Reservation
Hopi Reservation
The Hopi Reservation, or simply Hopi, is a Native American reservation for the Hopi and Arizona Tewa people, surrounded entirely by the Navajo Nation, in Navajo and Coconino counties of Arizona, USA. The site in north-eastern Arizona has a land area of 2,531.773 sq mi and as of the 2000 census had...

, is the only area of the continental United States that does not change its clocks.

Tribal membership and citizenship



The number of enrolled members of the Navajo Nation is 300,048, as of July 2011. The 2000 census reported 173,987 Navajo citizens, 58.34% of all ethnic Navajos, living on the Navajo Nation's territory.

The Navajo Nation requires a blood quantum
Blood quantum laws
Blood Quantum Laws or Indian Blood Laws is an umbrella term that describes legislation enacted in the United States to define membership in Native American tribes or nations...

 of one-quarter for a person to be eligible for enrollment as a member, the equivalent of one grandparent, or having one of four Diné clans, to be and to receive a Certificate of Indian Blood
Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood
A Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood or Certificate of Degree of Alaska Native Blood is an official U.S. document that certifies an individual possesses a specific degree of Native American blood of a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community...

 (CIB). In 2004, the Navajo Nation Council voted down a proposal to reduce the blood quantum to one-eighth, which would have effectively doubled the number of individuals qualified to be enrolled Navajo tribal members.

Minorities



Minorities include Anglo-Americans and Hopi, as well as the Paiute around the area of Navajo Mountain
Navajo Mountain
Navajo Mountain is a peak in San Juan County, Utah, with its southern flank extending into Coconino County, Arizona. It holds an important place in the traditions of three local Native American tribes.-Geologic history:...

. They were federally recognized as the San Juan Paiute tribe in 1980, separate from the Southern Paiute.

Education


Historically the Navajo Nation resisted compulsory education, including boarding schools, as imposed by General Richard Henry Pratt
Richard Henry Pratt
Richard Henry Pratt is best known as the founder and longtime superintendent of the influential Carlisle Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.-Military career:...

.

Nowadays, education, and the retention of students in all school systems, is a significant priority. A major problem faced by the nation is a very high drop-out rate among high school students. Over 150 public, private and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools serve students from kindergarten through high school. Most schools receive funding from the Navajo Nation under the Johnson O’Malley program.

The Nation also runs a local Head Start
Head Start
The Head Start Program is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families....

, the only educational program operated by the Navajo Nation government. Post-secondary education and vocational training are available on and off the reservation. Kurt Caswell, a well-known writer and professor at Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University, often referred to as Texas Tech or TTU, is a public research university in Lubbock, Texas, United States. Established on February 10, 1923, and originally known as Texas Technological College, it is the leading institution of the Texas Tech University System and has the...

, taught at the Borrego Pass School on the Navajo Reservation. He wrote a memoir, In the Sun's House: My Year on the Navajo Reservation (2009) about his life- changing experiences during that time.

Because drop-out rates are high on the Navajo Nation, the people have adopted programs such as the Literacy is Empowering Project
Literacy is Empowering Project
The Literacy is Empowering Program is a non-profit project which promotes literacy and pre-reading skills for Native children to increase standard academic language.-Purpose:...

 to help combat academic problems. The non-profit project promotes literacy and pre-reading skills for Native children to increase their understanding of standard academic language.

Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education


The Navajo Nation Board of Education is an 11-member board to oversee the operations of schools on the Navajo Nation and exercise regulatory functions and duties over its education programs. It was established by the Navajo Nation education code, Title 10 which was enacted in July 2005 by Navajo Nation Council.

The board acts to promote the goals of the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act of 2005 which include the establishment and management of a Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education, to confirm the commitment of the Navajo Nation to the education of the Navajo People, to repeal obsolete language, and to update and reorganize the existing language of Titles 10 and 2 of the Navajo Nation Code.

The Navajo Nation is committed to promoting lifelong learning for the Navajo people, and to protecting its cultural integrity and sovereignty. A Navajo Nation Board of Education meeting is scheduled the first Friday of every month.

Secondary education


The Nation has six types of secondary establishments, including:
  • Eight Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

     Public Schools
  • New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

     Public Schools
  • Utah
    Utah
    Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

     Public Schools
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

     Public Schools
  • Association of Navajo-Controlled Schools
  • Navajo Preparatory School
    Navajo Preparatory School
    Navajo Preparatory School is a college preparatory school located in Farmington, New Mexico. The school is fully sanctioned by the Navajo Nation since 1991 when the previous Navajo Academy closed due to lack of funding. The campus is currently undergoing a remodeling project for the past few years...

    , Inc.

Navajo Preparatory School



Navajo Preparatory School is the only Navajo-sanctioned, college-preparatory school for Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. Its goals are to offer students a challenging, innovative curriculum in science, math, computers, and other traditional academic subjects, as well as to help the youth gain a deep appreciation of the Navajo Language
Navajo language
Navajo or Navaho is an Athabaskan language spoken in the southwestern United States. It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages .Navajo has more speakers than any other Native American language north of the...

, culture, and history.

Located in Farmington, New Mexico
Farmington, New Mexico
Farmington is a city in San Juan County in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 U.S. Census the city had a total population of 45,877 people. Farmington makes up one of the four Metropolitan Statistical Areas in New Mexico. The U.S...

, a few miles outside the Navajo reservation, its mission is "To educate talented and motivated college-bound Navajo and other Native American youth who have the potential to succeed in higher education and become leaders in their respective communities."

Diné College


The Navajo Nation operates Diné College
Diné College
Diné College is a two-year, tribally controlled community college, serving the 27,000 square-mile Navajo Indian Reservation, which spans the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah....

, a two-year community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

 which has its main campus in Tsaile
Tsaile, Arizona
Tsaile is a census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States, within the Navajo Nation. The population was 1,078 at the 2000 census....

 in Apache County
Apache County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*23.3% White*0.2% Black*72.9% Native American*0.3% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*2.0% Two or more races*1.3% Other races*5.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, as well as seven other campuses on the reservation. The Navajo Nation founded the college in 1968 as the first tribal college
Tribal colleges and universities
Tribal colleges and universities are a category of higher education, minority-serving institutions in the United States. The educational institutions are distinguished by being controlled and operated by Native American tribes; they have become part of American Indians' institution-building in...

 in the nation. Since then, tribal colleges have been established on numerous reservations and now total 32.

Current enrollment at Diné College is 1,830 students, of which 210 are degree-seeking transfer students for four-year institutions. The college includes the Center for Diné Studies. Its goal is to apply Navajo Sa'ah Naagháí Bik'eh Hózhóón principles to advance quality student learning through Nitsáhákees (thinking), Nahat'á (planning), Iiná (living), and Siihasin (assurance) in study of the Diné language, history, and culture. Students are prepared for further studies and employment in a multi-cultural and technological world.

Health



For a people who historically had almost no cases, currently several types of cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 are in evidence at rates higher than the national average on the Four Corners Navajo Reservation. (Raloff, 2004) Especially high are the rates of reproductive-organ
Sex organ
A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, as narrowly defined, is any of the anatomical parts of the body which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in a complex organism; flowers are the reproductive organs of flowering plants, cones are the reproductive...

 cancers in teenage Navajo girls, averaging seventeen times higher than the average of girls in the United States.


It has been suspected that uranium mines, both active and abandoned, have released dust into the surrounding air and the water supply. Studies done on mice, exposing them to a soluble form of uranium similar to what might enter groundwater from the mines, showed heavy increases in estrogen
Estrogen
Estrogens , oestrogens , or œstrogens, are a group of compounds named for their importance in the estrous cycle of humans and other animals. They are the primary female sex hormones. Natural estrogens are steroid hormones, while some synthetic ones are non-steroidal...

 levels, which might explain the increased cancer levels among Navajo girls. The amount of uranium given to the mice was half the level permitted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

, and one-tenth the level found in some wells on the Navajo reservation.

Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced...

 is a major health problem among the Navajo, Hopi
Hopi
The Hopi are a federally recognized tribe of indigenous Native American people, who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The Hopi area according to the 2000 census has a population of 6,946 people. Their Hopi language is one of the 30 of the Uto-Aztecan language...

 and Pima
Pima
The Pima are a group of American Indians living in an area consisting of what is now central and southern Arizona. The long name, "Akimel O'odham", means "river people". They are closely related to the Tohono O'odham and the Hia C-ed O'odham...

 tribes, about four times higher than the age-standardized U.S. estimate. Medical researchers believe increased consumption of carbohydrates, coupled with genetic factors, play significant roles in the emergence of this chronic disease among Native Americans.

One in every 2,500 children in the Navajo population inherits severe combined immunodeficiency
Severe combined immunodeficiency
Severe combined immunodeficiency , is a genetic disorder in which both "arms" of the adaptive immune system are impaired due to a defect in one of several possible genes. SCID is a severe form of heritable immunodeficiency...

 (SCID), a genetic disorder that results in children with virtually no immune system. In the general population, the genetic disorder is much more rare, affecting one in 100,000 children. The disorder is sometimes known as "bubble boy
Bubble Boy
Bubble Boy is a 2001 comedy film directed by Blair Hayes and stars Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role.-Plot:Jimmy Livingston was born without an immune system and is forced to live in a sterilized dome in his bedroom, earning him the title "Bubble Boy" by his neighbors...

 disease." This condition is a significant cause of illness and death among Navajo children. Research reveals a similar genetic pattern among the related Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

 people. In a December 2007 Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 article, Mortan Cowan, M.D., director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

-San Fransciso, noted that, although researchers have identified about a dozen genes that cause SCID, the Navajo/Apache population has the most severe form of the disorder. This is due to the lack of a gene designated "Artemis." Without the gene, children's bodies are unable to repair DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 or develop disease-fighting cells. (Fonseca, Salt Lake Tribune, B10)

Economy


In recent historical times, the Navajo economy was based on sheep
Navajo-Churro sheep
The Navajo-Churro, or Churro for short, is a breed of domestic sheep originating with the Spanish Churra sheep obtained by the Navajo Indian tribe. The breed is renowned for its hardiness and adaptability to extremes of climate. Its wool consists of a protective topcoat and soft undercoat...

 and cattle herding
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

, wool and yarn production
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

, blanket and rug production
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

, and turquoise and silver jewelry making. More recently additional arts
Native American art
Visual arts by indigenous peoples of the Americas encompasses the visual artistic traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas from ancient times to the present...

 such as sand painting, feather work, pottery and others have been added.

Mining, especially of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

, provided significant income to the tribe in the second half of the 20th century. The uranium market slowed near the end of that period, and the Nation has suffered considerable environmental contamination from poorly regulated mines. As of 2005, it has prohibited further uranium mining. The volume of coal mined has declined in the early 21st century. "The Navajo Nation's extensive mineral resources are among the most valuable held by Native American nations within the United States."

An important business within the reservation is the operation of handmade arts and crafts shops to sell the high-quality goods made by the people. A 2004 study by the Navajo Division of Economic Development found that at least 60 percent of all families have at least one member making arts and crafts. The Navajo work at stores and other businesses on the reservation or in nearby towns, and the Navajo government employs thousands in civil service and administrative jobs.

Until 2004, the Navajo Nation declined to join other Native American nations within the United States that had opened gambling casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

s. That year, the nation signed a compact with New Mexico to operate a casino at To'hajiilee, near Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

. Navajo leaders also negotiated with Arizona officials for casinos near Flagstaff
Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a city located in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2010, the city's population was 65,870. The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area was at 134,421 in 2010. It is the county seat of Coconino County...

, Lake Powell
Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a huge reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona . It is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing of water when full...

, Winslow, Sanders (Nahata Dziil Chapter), and Cameron (the Grand Canyon entrance). The Dine Development Corporation was formed in 2004 to promote Navajo business and seek viable business development to make use of casino revenues.

The Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Black Mesa and Lake Powell
The Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad is a electrified private railroad operating in Northern Arizona, USA within the Navajo Nation which transports coal from the Peabody Energy's Kayenta Mine near Kayenta, Arizona to the Navajo Generating Station power plant at Page, Arizona...

 railroad serves one of the coal mines in the Diné region, carrying coal to the Navajo Generating Station
Navajo Generating Station
Navajo Generating Station is a 2250 megawatt coal-fired powerplant located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, near Page, Arizona, USA. This plant provides electrical power to customers in Arizona, Nevada, and California...

 at Page, Arizona
Page, Arizona
Page is a city in Coconino County, Arizona, United States, near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 6,794.-Geography:Page is located at ....

. Peabody Energy's
Peabody Energy
Peabody Energy Corporation , previously Peabody Coal Company, is the largest private-sector coal company in the world. The company is headquartered in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri....

 Black Mesa coal mine near Kayenta
Kayenta, Arizona
Kayenta is a census-designated place which is part of the Navajo Nation and is in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. The population was 5,189 at the 2010 census. Kayenta is located south of Monument Valley and contains a number of hotels and motels which service visitors to Monument...

, a controversial strip mine, was shut down on December 31, 2005 for its emission credits
Emissions trading
Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants....

. This mine had fed the Mohave Power Station
Mohave Power Station
Mohave Power Station was a 1,580 megawatt coal fired power plant located in Laughlin, Nevada. Southern California Edison is the majority owner of the plant and was its operator. The plant is currently shut down and in the process of being dismantled.The plant was composed of two units of capable...

 at Laughlin, Nevada
Laughlin, Nevada
Laughlin is a census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States, and a port located on the Colorado River. Laughlin is south of Las Vegas, located in the far southern tip of Nevada. It is best known for its gaming, entertainment, and water recreation. As of the 2010 census, the...

, via a slurry pipeline
Slurry pipeline
A slurry pipeline is used in mining to transport mineral concentrate from a mineral processing plant near a mine.- Overview :The concentrate of the ore is mixed with water and then pumped over a long distance to a port where it can be shipped for further processing. At the end of the pipeline, the...

 that used water from the Black Mesa aquifer.

In early 2008, the Navajo Nation and Houston-based IPP entered into an agreement to monitor wind resources, with the potential to build a 500-megawatt wind farm
Wind farm
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electric power. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other...

 some 50 miles (80 km) north of Flagstaff. Known as the Navajo Wind Project, it will be the second commercial wind farm in Arizona after Iberdrola's Dry Lake development. The Navajo Council approved the development by overriding a tribal presidential veto in December 2010. Disagreement between the central Navajo government and the local Navajo Cameron Chapter have led to confusion as to whether the development will be built.

The unemployment level fluctuates between an overall 40 and 45 percent for the nation of reported taxed income. In some communities, it can go as high as 85 percent or as low as 15 percent.

Utah Dineh Corporation Inc


The Utah Diné Corporation
Utah Dineh Corporation Inc
The Utah Dineh Corporation is a Nonprofit organization which was established in order to maintain the Utah Navajo Oil Reserve revenues in the Aneth Oil Field section of Utah...

 is a nonprofit organization established in order to maintain the Utah Navajo Oil Reserve revenues in the Aneth Oil Field section of Utah. Much of this area is within the Utah Navajo side of San Juan County, Utah
San Juan County, Utah
As of the current census of 2010, there were 14,746 people and 4,505 households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 50.4% Native American, 45.8% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% African American and 2.3% reporting two or more races...

.

The Special Trustee for American Indians testified to the House Committee on Natural Resources and stated that his office did not have the capacity to administer the Utah Navajo Trust Fund in a manner required by the 1933 Act. The Utah Diné Corporation was established in order to maintain the Utah Navajo Oil Royalties after passage of Senate Bill 1690
Senate Bill 1690
The bill to amend the Act of March 1, 1933, to transfer certain authority and resources to the Utah Dineh Corporation., and for other purposes is a bill sponsored by Rep...

, proposed and sponsored by US Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT). It was to amend the Act of March 1, 1933, to transfer certain authority and resources to the Utah Diné Corporation
Utah Dineh Corporation Inc
The Utah Dineh Corporation is a Nonprofit organization which was established in order to maintain the Utah Navajo Oil Reserve revenues in the Aneth Oil Field section of Utah...

, and for other purposes.

Navajo Nation tax incentives


The Navajo Nation does not tax corporate income, inventories, and personal income. Additionally, the Nation does not have property or unemployment tax (although this is subject to change). In general, taxation on the Navajo Nation is lower in comparison to other places in the United States. This is particularly true for businesses which are newly established or which have expanded their operation onto the Navajo Nation. There are a number of federal and state tax incentives currently in place.

Currently, the Navajo Nation charges a 4 percent tax on all retail sales; all local business on the Navajo Nation pay this amount.

Housing and transportation


The Navajo Housing Authority, the tribally designated housing entity for the Navajo Nation, has begun construction of new homes on the Navajo Nation with new materials which are more cost-effective and less prone to fire damage. NHA housing developments exist among the six agencies of the Navajo Nation. Many families build scattered-site homes on their traditional homesite lease.

Hooghan means the home for Navajos, and it is the center of learning. The traditional style of home of the Navajo is the hogan
Hogan
A hogan is the primary traditional home of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house...

. Most modern housing in the Navajo Nation is built as detached single-family homes and mobile homes. Most homes in the Navajo Nation were built in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s, although older built homes do exist. Single-family homes are mostly rural-styled homes constructed of wood. Because many homes do not have access to natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 and electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

, most homes use wood or propane for heat and cooking.

Due to the reservation's remote geographic location, many structures do not have telephone or public utility services; they also may lack complete kitchen or plumbing facilities. But the nation has developed more infrastructure through the years, affording Navajo families the modern conveniences of DSL, satellite television
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

 and wireless
Wireless
Wireless telecommunications is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not physically connected. Distances can be short, such as a few meters for television remote control, or as far as thousands or even millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications...

 access in some communities. The government-subsidized phone program has brought the most remote locations of the reservation in contact with the rest of the Navajo Nation.

Roads within the reservation vary in condition. Most federally operated U.S. highways are in excellent condition year-round and are suitable for vehicles of any size. Roads are generally unpaved in many rural areas and small villages. In the central parts of the Navajo Nation, near the Black Mesa (Arizona), roads are often poorly maintained, and are sometimes in nearly unusable condition after very heavy rains. In general, except for the most remote regions, road conditions in the Navajo Nation are usually acceptable for routine use.

Notable Navajo politicians

  • Speaker Johnny Naize, 22nd Council
  • Katherine Benally, Chairwoman Resource & Development Committee, 22nd Council
  • Lorenzo Bates, Chairman Budget & Finance Committee, 22nd Council
  • Leonard Tsosie, Navajo Nation Councilman (Whitehorse/Torreon//Pueblo Pintado) / Former State Senator – District 22, New Mexico Senate
    New Mexico Senate
    The New Mexico Senate is the upper house of the New Mexico State Legislature. The Senate consists of 42 members, with each senator representing an equal amount of single-member constituent districts across the state. All senatorial districts are divided to contain a population on average of 43,300...

  • Henry Chee Dodge
    Henry Chee Dodge
    Henry Chee Dodge , also known in Navajo by his nicknames ' and ' , was chairman of the Navajo Business Council from 1922 until 1928, and chairman of the then Navajo Tribal Council from 1942 until 1946. Thereafter, he became the first and only Navajo politician elected vice-president who died...

    , first Chairman of Navajo Tribal Council, 1922-1928 and Chairman 1942-1946
  • Annie Dodge Wauneka
    Annie Dodge Wauneka
    Annie Dodge Wauneka was an influential member of the Navajo Nation as member of the Navajo Nation Council. As a member and three term head of the Council's Health and Welfare Committee, she worked to improve the health and education of the Navajo. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom...

    , former Navajo Tribal Councilwoman, 1951-1978
  • Edward T. Begay
    Edward T. Begay
    Edward T. Begay is a Native American politician who served as the Speaker of the Navajo Nation from 1999 to 2003. He also served as Vice-Chairman in 1983 under the Chairmanship of then Chairm Peterson Zah. Begay has been a major influence in the community, and is still active within Chapter...

    , former Navajo Nation Speaker (Churchrock/Baahali)
  • Lilakai Julian Neil
    Lilakai Julian Neil
    Lilakai Julian Neil, in 1946, was the first woman elected to the Navajo Tribal Council. After a serious automobile accident, she was forced to withdraw from public service....

    , First woman elected to Tribal Council, 1946-1951
  • Annie Deschiney, former Navajo Nation Councilwoman (Churchrock/Baahaali)
  • Peter MacDonald
    Peter MacDonald (Navajo leader)
    Peter MacDonald is a Native American politician and the only four term Chairman of the Navajo Tribe. He was born in Arizona, U.S.A., served the U.S...

    , Former Navajo Tribal Chairman
  • Ben Shelly
    Ben Shelly
    Ben Shelly is the President of the Navajo Nation. Since serving as vice-president for the Nation under the last administration, Mr...

    , President of the Navajo Nation (2011–Present)
  • Joe Shirley Jr., President of the Navajo Nation (2003–2010)

External links