Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Navajo

The Navajos call themselves Dine, which means 'The People', and are speakers of a Na-Dene Southern Athabaskan Language, which is known and Dine bizaad, or 'People speech'. It is believed that the Navajos arrived in the Southwest around eight hundred to a thousand years ago.

The Navajo people were mostly hunters and gatherers until they came into contact with the Spanish and the Pueblos. The tribe learned crop farming techniques from the Peublo and domesticated livestock techniques from the Spanish. In addition to crop farming and animal husbandry, the Navajo became artisans in spinning and weaving.

In 1846 the Navajo came into contact with the United States of America and a treaty of peace was negotiated at Bear Springs, Oje del Oso, with Colonel Alexander Doniphan. Unfortunately peace did not last and a new treaty was negotiated in 1849, which was also not to last.

In 1864 nearly nine thousand Navajo people were forced to trek more than three hundred miles to Fort Sumner where they were interned at Bosque Redondo for four years. The Navajo call this 'The Long Walk' and many died both along the way and while imprisoned

The "Navajo Indian Reservation" was established in 1868, after the Navajo returned from their four year imprisonment. Today, there are more than three hundred thousand enrolled tribal members of the Navajo and Navajo Nation is the largest Indian reservation in the US, occupying areas of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.




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