Tenacious, adaptable, enduring, spiritual--words that characterize the largest and most influential Indian tribe in North America, the Navajo Nation.
Since the Long Walk in the 1860s, the Navajo Nation decimated to a population of only 8,000. It has increased to a stronghold of more than 210,000. About 60 percent of Navajos are 24 years old or younger.
In its infancy, the Navajo Nation governed itself by a complex language and clan system. The discovery of oil in the early 1920s clarified the need for a more systematic form of government. So, in 1923, the Navajos established a tribal government; thus providing an entity to deal with American oil companies wishing to lease Navajoland for exploration.
Today, the Navajo Tribal Council has grown into the largest and most sophisticated American Indian government in the U.S. It embodies an elected tribal chairman, vice chairman and 88 council delegates representing 109 local units of government (known as chapters) throughout the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation continues to forge ahead in its goal to attain economic self-sufficiency. Yet in the midst of it all, the Dineh (or The People) still adhere to their cultural, social and traditional values; the same tenacious values that have made the Navajo Nation unique and fascinating throughout its history. The traditional history of the Navajo Nation, with its strong emphasis on adapting trends with modern day America will continue to perpetuate the enduring Navajo into the future.
The stark and incredible beauty of the Navajo Reservation-spilling over into the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah--is an irresistible magnet to film and television producers from all over the world.
Outsiders do not perceive Navajoland as the Navajo, as the sacred homeland created for the Dineh. This strong spiritual belief in the land requires that Mother Earth be treated with the deepest respect.
Information courtesy of Navajo Tourism, 928-871-6436.
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