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Details about  GRAND CANYON Native Indian American Navajo photo rare

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GRAND CANYON Native Indian American Navajo photo rare
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Jan 08, 2012
US $375.00
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A fantastic vintage original 6.5x8.5 inch photo from 1928 depicting Mrs Mike Harrison at Grand Canyon National Park being the only white woman who can weave Navajo robes. Mrs. Harrison always wears Navajo attire.

See my other great items in my eBay store

The last American Indians to arrive at the Grand Canyon were the Navajo, or the Dine (Athabascan people related to the Apache), who moved here from the Northwest around A.D. 1400. The Navajo were hunter-gatherers who learned agriculture from the Pueblos and later obtained horses and sheep from Spanish settlers. There was also a raiding component to their lifestyle (much as the Apache's). Their adaptability allowed them to dominate the region. Today, after centuries of sporadic intertribal conflict as well as clashes with new Spanish, Mexican and Anglo arrivals, the Navajo are the largest American Indian tribe in the United States. Their huge reservation abuts the eastern section of the canyon.

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt  was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet).[1] Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.[2] While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists,[3] recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago.[4] Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to the point we see it at today.[5]

Before European immigration, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon ("Ongtupqa" in Hopi language) a holy site and made pilgrimages to it.[6] The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.[7]

Satellite image of the Grand Canyon area

The Grand Canyon is a massive rift in the Colorado Plateau that exposes uplifted Proterozoic and Paleozoic strata, and is also one of the six distinct physiographic sections of the Colorado Plateau province. It is not the deepest canyon in the world (Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal is far deeper), nor the widest (Capertee Valley in Australia is about 0.6 mi/1 km wider and longer than Grand Canyon); however, the Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Geologically it is significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon. These rock layers record much of the early geologic history of the North American continent.
A map of the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, circa 1908.

Uplift associated with mountain formation later moved these sediments thousands of feet upward and created the Colorado Plateau. The higher elevation has also resulted in greater precipitation in the Colorado River drainage area, but not enough to change the Grand Canyon area from being semi-arid. The uplift of the Colorado Plateau is uneven, and the Kaibab Plateau that Grand Canyon bisects is over a thousand feet higher at the North Rim (about 1,000 ft/300 m) than at the South Rim. Almost all runoff from the North Rim (which also gets more rain and snow) flows toward the Grand Canyon, while much of the runoff on the plateau behind the South Rim flows away from the canyon (following the general tilt). The result is deeper and longer tributary washes and canyons on the north side and shorter and steeper side canyons on the south side.

Temperatures on the North Rim are generally lower than the South Rim because of the greater elevation (averaging 8,000 ft/2,438 m above sea level).[8] Heavy rains are common on both rims during the summer months. Access to the North Rim via the primary route leading to the canyon (State Route 67) is limited during the winter season due to road closures. Views from the North Rim tend to give a better impression of the expanse of the canyon than those from the South Rim.
Main article: Geology of the Grand Canyon area
Diagram showing the placement, age and thickness of the rock units exposed in the Grand Canyon.
Rockfalls in recent times, along with other mass wasting, have further widened the canyon.

The Colorado River basin (of which the Grand Canyon is a part) has developed in the past 40 million years. A recent study places the origins of the canyon beginning some 17 million years ago. Previous estimates had placed the age of the canyon at 5 to 6 million years. The study, which was published in the journal Science in 2008, used uranium-lead dating to analyze calcite deposits found on the walls of nine caves throughout the canyon.[9] There is a substantial amount of controversy because this research suggests such a substantial departure from prior widely supported scientific consensus.[10]

The result of all this erosion is one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet.

The major geologic exposures in the Grand Canyon range in age from the 2 billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner Gorge to the 230 million year old Kaibab Limestone on the Rim. Interestingly, there is a gap of about one billion years between the stratum that is about 500 million years old and the lower level, which is about 1.5 billion years old. That indicates a period of erosion between two periods of deposition.

Many of the formations were deposited in warm shallow seas, near-shore environments (such as beaches), and swamps as the seashore repeatedly advanced and retreated over the edge of a proto-North America. Major exceptions include the Permian Coconino Sandstone, which most geologists interpret as an aeolian sand dune deposit and several parts of the Supai Group.

The great depth of the Grand Canyon and especially the height of its strata (most of which formed below sea level) can be attributed to 5,000 to 10,000 feet (1500 to 3000 m) of uplift of the Colorado Plateau, starting about 65 million years ago (during the Laramide Orogeny). This uplift has steepened the stream gradient of the Colorado River and its tributaries, which in turn has increased their speed and thus their ability to cut through rock (see the elevation summary of the Colorado River for present conditions).

Weather conditions during the ice ages also increased the amount of water in the Colorado River drainage system. The ancestral Colorado River responded by cutting its channel faster and deeper.

The base level and course of the Colorado River (or its ancestral equivalent) changed 5.3 million years ago when the Gulf of California opened and lowered the river's base level (its lowest point). This increased the rate of erosion and cut nearly all of the Grand Canyon's current depth by 1.2 million years ago. The terraced walls of the canyon were created by differential erosion.[11]

About one million years ago, volcanic activity (mostly near the western canyon area) deposited ash and lava over the area, which at times completely obstructed the river. These volcanic rocks are the youngest in the canyon.
 Human history
Main article: History of the Grand Canyon area
Grand Canyon from the South Rim, near the NPS Visitor Center
Ancestral Puebloean granaries at Nankoweap Creek.
Eagle Rock (located at Eagle Point) on the west rim, aptly named for its shape, is considered sacred by the Hualapai Indians.
 Native Americans
    This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (May 2010)
 Ancestral Puebloans
Main article: Ancient Pueblo Peoples

The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Ancient Pueblo Peoples and Anasazi (or "Ancient Ones"), were the first people to reside in the Grand Canyon area.

    * The Basketmakers
    * The Pueblo Anasazi
    * Ancient Puebloan Occupation of the Grand Canyon
          o Nankoweap Canyon
          o The Unkar Delta (see Geology of the Grand Canyon area)
          o The Bright Angel site

 Other cultures

    * The Cohonina[12]
    * The Sinagua
    * The Pai (The People)
    * The Hualapai (The People of the Pine Trees)
    * The Havasupai (The People of the blue-green water)
    * The Paiutes (The Water People)
    * The Dineh (The People)

 European arrival and settlement
 Spanish explorers

In September 1540, under orders from the conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado to search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola, Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, along with Hopi guides and a small group of Spanish soldiers, traveled to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon between Desert View and Moran Point. Pablo de Melgrossa, Juan Galeras, and a third soldier descended some one third of the way into the Canyon until they were forced to return because of lack of water. In their report, they noted that some of the rocks in the Canyon were "bigger than the great tower of Seville."[13] It is speculated that their Hopi guides must have been reluctant to lead them to the river, since they must have known routes to the canyon floor. Afterwards, no Europeans visited the Canyon for over two hundred years.

Fathers Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante were two Spanish priests who, with a group of Spanish soldiers, explored southern Utah and traveled along the North Rim of the Canyon in Glen and Marble Canyons in search of a route from Santa Fe to California in 1776. They eventually found a crossing that today lies under Lake Powell.

Also in 1776, Fray Francisco Garces, a Franciscan missionary, spent a week near Havasupai, unsuccessfully attempting to convert a band of Native Americans to Christianity. He described the Canyon as "profound".[13]
 American exploration

James Ohio Pattie, along with a group of American trappers and mountain men, was probably the next European to reach the Canyon in 1826, although there is little documentation to support this.[14]

Jacob Hamblin (a Mormon missionary) was sent by Brigham Young in the 1850s to locate easy river crossing sites in the Canyon. Building good relations with local Native Americans and white settlers, he discovered Hope Dog in 1858 and Pierce Ferry (later operated by, and named for, Harrison Pierce) - the only two sites suitable for ferry operation.[citation needed] He also acted as an advisor to John Wesley Powell before his second expedition to the Grand Canyon, acting as a diplomat between Powell and the local native tribes to ensure the safety of his party.

In 1857 Edward Fitzgerald Beale superintendent of an expedition to survey a wagon road along the 35th parallel from Fort Defiance to the Colorado river led a small party of men in search of water on the Coconino plateau on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. On September 19 near present day National Canyon they came upon what May Humphreys Stacey described in his journal as "...a wonderful canyon four thousand feet deep. Everyone (in the party) admitted that he never before saw anything to match or equal this astonishing natural curiosity."

Also in 1857, the U.S. War Department asked Lieutenant Joseph Ives to lead an expedition to assess the feasibility of an up-river navigation from the Gulf of California. Also in a stern wheeler steamboat "Explorer", after two months and 350 miles (560 km) of difficult navigation, his party reached Black Canyon some two months after George Johnson.[citation needed] The "Explorer" struck a rock and was abandoned. Ives led his party east into the Canyon — they may have been the first Europeans to travel the Diamond Creek drainage and traveled eastwards along the South Rim. In his “Colorado River of the West” report to the Senate in 1861 he states that “One or two trappers profess to have seen the canon.”
Noon rest in Marble Canyon, second Powell Expedition, 1872

According to the San Francisco Herald, in a series of articles run in 1853, they give this honor to Captain Joseph R. Walker, who in January 1851 with his nephew James T. Walker and six men, traveled up the Colorado River to a point where it joined the Virgin River and continued east into Arizona, traveling along the Grand Canyon and making short exploratory side trips along the way.

Walker said he wanted to visit the Moqui Indians, as the Hopi were then called by whites. He had met these people briefly in previous years, thought them exceptionally interesting and wanted to become better acquainted. The Herald reporter took it from there, writing: “We believe that Capt. Joe Walker is the only white man in this country that has ever visited this strange people.”

In 1858, John Strong Newberry became probably the first geologist to visit the Grand Canyon.

In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell led the first expedition down the Grand Canyon.

    * The Brown-Stanton River Expedition
    * Other expeditions

In 1908, the Grand Canyon[15] became an official national monument and became a national park in 1919.
 Settlers in and near the canyon

    * Miners: "Captain" John Hance, William W. Bass, Louis Boucher "The Hermit", Seth Tanner, Charles Spencer, D. W. "James" Mooney
    * Lees Ferry: John Doyle Lee, Emma Lee French (17th of John Lee's 19 wives), J. S. Emmett, Charles Spencer
    * Phantom Ranch: David Rust, Mary Colter
    * Grand Canyon Village: Ralph H. Cameron

 Federal protection

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903. An avid outdoorsman and staunch conservationist, he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve on November 28, 1906. Livestock grazing was reduced, but predators such as mountain lions, eagles, and wolves, were eradicated. Roosevelt added adjacent national forest lands and redesignated the preserve a U.S. National Monument on January 11, 1908. Opponents such as land and mining claim holders blocked efforts to reclassify the monument as a U.S. National Park for 11 years. Grand Canyon National Park was finally established as the 17th U.S. National Park by an Act of Congress signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on February 26, 1919.[16]

The federal government administrators who manage park resources face many challenges. These include issues related to the recent reintroduction into the wild of the highly endangered California condor, air tour overflight noise levels, water rights disputes with various tribal reservations that border the park, and forest fire management. The Grand Canyon National Park superintendent is Steve Martin. Martin was named superintendent on February 5, 2007 to replace retiring superintendent Joe Alston. Martin was previously the National Park Service Deputy Director and superintendent of several other national parks, including Denali and Grand Teton.[17] Federal officials started a flood in the Grand Canyon in hopes of restoring its ecosystem on March 5, 2008. The canyon's ecosystem was permanently changed after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.[18]
 South Rim buildings

There are several historical buildings located along the South Rim; most are in Grand Canyon Village.
Desert View Watchtower in 2004

Buckey O'Neill Cabin was built during the 1890s by William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill. He built the cabin because of a copper deposit that was nearby. He had several occupations such as miner, judge, politician, author and tour guide. This cabin is the longest continually standing structure in the South Rim. It is currently used as a guest house; booking is required well in advance.

Kolb Studio was built in 1904 by brothers Ellsworth and Emery Kolb. They were photographers who made a living by photographing visitors walking down the Bright Angel Trail. In 1911, the Kolb brothers filmed their journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers. Emery Kolb showed this movie regularly in his studio until 1976, when he died at the age of 95. Today the building serves as an art gallery and exhibit.

The El Tovar Hotel was built in 1905 and is the most luxurious lodging on the South Rim. The hotel consists of 4 stories with a rustic chalet appearance. It was designed by Charles Whittlesley. A gift shop and restaurant are located inside the hotel.

Hopi House was built by Mary Jane Colter in 1905. It is based on structures that were built in an ancient Hopi settlement called Old Oraibi, located on the Third Mesa in eastern Arizona. It served as a residence for the Hopi Indians who sold arts and crafts to visitors in the South Rim.

Verkamp's Curios, which stands next to the Hopi House, was built by John Verkamp in 1905. He sold arts and crafts as well as souvenirs. Until September 2008, it was run by his descendants; in November 2008 the building reopened as a visitor center focusing on the history of the Grand Canyon Village community.

Grand Canyon Railway Depot was built in 1909 and contains 2 levels. While it is commonly said that this depot building is one of only three log-cabin-style train stations currently standing out of fourteen supposedly ever built in the U.S., this claim has never been verified. This claim originated in a 1985 document written by Gordon Chappell entitled "Statement on Architectural and Historic Significance" and is currently repeated, without verification, by newspapers, magazines and on-line articles, including ones appearing on the National Park Service website. The depot is the northern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railway which begins in Williams, Arizona.

Lookout Studio was built in 1914 and is another structure that was designed by Mary Colter. Photography artwork, books, souvenirs, and rock and fossil specimens are sold here. A great view of Bright Angel Trail can be seen here.

Desert View Watchtower was built in 1932 and is one of Mary Colter's best-known works. Situated at the far eastern end of the South Rim, 27 miles (43 km) from Grand Canyon Village, the tower sits on a 7,400 foot (2,256 m) promontory. It offers one of the few views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River. It is designed to mimic an Anasazi watchtower though it is larger than existing ones.[19]

Bright Angel Lodge was built of logs and stone in 1935. Mary Colter designed the lodge and it was built by Fred Harvey. Inside the lodge is a small museum honoring Fred Harvey, who played a major role in popularizing the Grand Canyon. In the history room is a fireplace that is made of stone from the South Rim that is layered in the same sequence as in the canyon.

Weather in the Grand Canyon varies according to elevation.
A storm over the Grand Canyon

The forested rims are high enough to receive winter snowfall, but along the Colorado River in the Inner Gorge, temperatures are similar to those found in Tucson and other low elevation desert locations in Arizona. Conditions in the Grand Canyon region are generally dry, but substantial precipitation occurs twice annually, during seasonal pattern shifts in winter (when Pacific storms usually deliver widespread, moderate rain and high-elevation snow to the region from the west) and in late summer (a phenomenon known as the monsoon, which delivers waves of moisture from the southeast, causing dramatic, localized thunderstorms fueled by the heat of the day).[20] Average annual precipitation on the South Rim is less than 16 inches (35 cm), with 60 inches (132 cm) of snow, the higher North Rim usually receives 27 inches (59 cm) of moisture, with a typical snowfall of 144 inches (317 cm), and Phantom Ranch, far below the Canyon's rims along the Colorado River at 2,500 feet (762 m) gets just 8 inches (17.6 cm) of rain, and snow is a rarity. The weather is different on the north rim and south rim.
Grand Canyon covered with snow

Temperatures vary wildly throughout the year, with summer highs within the Inner Gorge commonly exceeding 100 °F (37.8 °C) and winter minimum temperatures sometimes falling below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 °C) along the canyon's rims.[20] Visitors are often surprised by these potentially extreme conditions, and this, along with the high altitude of the canyon's rims, can lead to unpleasant side effects such as dehydration, sunburn, and hypothermia.

Weather conditions can greatly affect hiking and canyon exploration, and visitors should obtain accurate forecasts because of hazards posed by exposure to extreme temperatures, winter storms and late summer monsoons. While the park service posts weather information at gates and visitor centers, this is a rough approximation only, and should not be relied upon for trip planning. For accurate weather in the Canyon, hikers should consult the National Weather Service's NOAA weather radio or the official National Weather Service website.[21]

The National Weather Service has had a cooperative station on the South Rim since 1903. The record high temperature on the South Rim was 105°F on June 26, 1974, and the record low temperature was -20°F on January 1, 1919, February 1, 1985, and December 23, 1990.[22]
 Air pollution
Brown cloud of air pollution visible from Yavapai Point, April 2007

The Grand Canyon has suffered some problems with air pollution, attributed to the nearby Navajo Generating Station, a coal-burning power plant. In 1991 an agreement was reached with the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, to add air pollution control devices to their smokestacks.[23]
 Biology and ecology

There are approximately 1,737 known species of vascular plants, 167 species of fungi, 64 species of moss and 195 species of lichen found in Grand Canyon National Park.[24] This variety is largely due to the 8,000 foot elevation change from the Colorado River up to the highest point on the North Rim.[24] Grand Canyon boasts a dozen endemic plants (known only within the Park's boundaries) while only ten percent of the Park's flora is exotic.[24] Sixty-three plants found here have been given special status by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.[24]

The Mojave Desert influences the western sections of the canyon, Sonoran Desert vegetation covers the eastern sections, and ponderosa and pinyon pine forests grow on both rims.[25]

Natural seeps and springs percolating out of the canyon walls are home to 11% of all the plant species found in the Grand Canyon.[25] The Canyon itself can act as a connection between the east and the west by providing corridors of appropriate habitat along its length.[25] The canyon can also be a genetic barrier to some species, like the Tassel-eared squirrel.[25]

The aspect, or direction a slope faces, also plays a major role in adding diversity to the Grand Canyon. North-facing slopes receive about one-third the normal amount of sunlight, so plants growing there are similar to plants found at higher elevations, or in more northern latitudes.[25] The south-facing slopes receive the full amount of sunlight and are covered in vegetation typical of the Sonoran Desert.[25]

Of the 34 mammal species found along the Colorado River corridor, 15 are rodents and eight are bats.[26]
 Life zones and communities

The Park contains several major ecosystems.[27] Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America.[27] The five life zones represented are the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian.[27] This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada. Differences in elevation and the resulting variations in climate are the major factors that form the various life zones and communities in and around the canyon. Grand Canyon National Park contains 129 vegetation communities, and the composition and distribution of plant species is influenced by climate, geomorphology and geology.[24]
 Lower Sonoran
A bighorn ewe at Grand Canyon, 2008

The Lower Sonoran life zone spans from the Colorado River up to 3500 feet. Along the Colorado River and its perennial tributaries, a riparian community exists.[24] Coyote willow, arrowweed, seep-willow, western honey mesquite, catclaw acacia, and exotic tamarisk (saltcedar) are the predominant species.[24] Hanging gardens, seeps and springs often contain rare plants such as the white-flowering western redbud, stream orchid, and McDougall's flaveria.[24] Endangered fish in the river include the humpback chub and the razorback sucker.[28]

The three most common amphibians in these riparian communities are the canyon tree frog, red-spotted toad, and Woodhouse’s Rocky Mountain toad.[29] Leopard frogs are very rare in the Colorado River corridor, and are known to exist at only a few sites.[29] There are 33 crustacean species found in the Colorado River and its tributaries within Grand Canyon National Park. Of these 33, 16 are considered true zooplankton organisms.[30]

Only 48 bird species regularly nest along the river, while others use the river as a migration corridor or as overwintering habitat. The bald eagle is one species that uses the river corridor as winter habitat.[31]

River otters may have disappeared from the park in late 20th century, and muskrats are extremely rare.[26] Beavers cut willows, cottonwoods, and shrubs for food, and can significantly affect the riparian vegetation.[26] Other rodents, such as antelope squirrels and pocket mice, are mostly omnivorous, using many different vegetation types.[26] Grand Canyon bats typically roost in desert uplands, but forage on the abundance of insects along the river and its tributaries.[26] In addition to bats, coyotes, ringtails, and spotted skunks are the most numerous riparian predators and prey on invertebrates, rodents, and reptiles.[26]

Raccoons, weasels, bobcats, gray foxes, and mountain lions are also present, but are much more rare.[26] Mule deer and desert bighorn sheep are the ungulates that frequent the river corridor. Since the removal of 500 ferral burros in the early 1980s, bighorn sheep numbers have rebounded.[26] Mule deer are generally not permanent residents along the river, but travel down from the rim when food and water resources there become scarce.[26]

The insect species commonly found in the river corridor and tributaries are midges, caddis flies, mayflies, stoneflies, black flies, mites, beetles, butterflies, moths, and fire ants.[32] Numerous species of spiders and several species of scorpions including the bark scorpion and the giant desert hairy scorpion inhabit the riparian zone.[32]

Eleven aquatic and 26 terrestrial species of mollusks have been identified in and around Grand Canyon National Park.[33] Of the aquatic species, two are bivalves (clams) and nine are gastropods (snails).[33] Twenty-six species of terrestrial gastropods have been identified, primarily land snails and slugs.[33]

There are a approximately 47 reptile species in Grand Canyon National Park. Ten are considered common along the river corridor and include lizards and snakes.[34] Lizard density tends to be highest along the stretch of land between the water's edge and the beginning of the upland desert community.[34] The two largest lizards in the Canyon are gila monsters and chuckwallas.[34] Many snake species, which are not directly dependent on surface water, may be found both within the inner gorge and the Colorado River corridor. Six rattlesnake species have been recorded in the park.[34]

Above the river corridor a desert scrub community, composed of North American desert flora, thrives. Typical warm desert species such as creosote bush, white bursage, brittle brush, catclaw acacia, ocotillo, mariola, western honey mesquite, four-wing saltbush, big sagebrush, blackbrush and rubber rabbitbrush grow in this community.[24] The mammalian fauna in the woodland scrub community consists of 50 species, mostly rodents and bats.[26] Three of the five Park woodrat species live in the desert scrub community.[26]

Except for the western (desert) banded gecko, which seems to be distributed only near water along the Colorado River, all of the reptiles found near the river also appear in the uplands, but in lower densities.[34] The desert gopher tortoise, a threatened species, inhabits the desert scrublands in the western end of the park.[34]

Some of the common insects found at elevations above 2,000 feet are orange paper wasps, honey bees, black flies, tarantula hawks, stink bugs, beetles, black ants, and monarch and swallowtail butterflies.[32] Solpugids, wood spiders, garden spiders, black widow spiders and tarantulas can are found in the desert scrub and higher elevations.[32]
 Upper Sonoran and Transition
A California Condor in flight, photographed from Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon, 2008. Wild condors are numbered to aid wildlife researchers. As of April 2009, there were 172 wild California condors known.

The Upper Sonoran Life Zone includes most of the inner canyon and South Rim at elevations from 3,500 to 7,000 feet.[25] This zone is generally dominated by blackbrush, sagebrush, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. Elevations of 3,500 to 4,000 feet are in the Mojave Desert Scrub community of the Upper Sonoran. This community is dominated by the four-winged saltbush and creosote bush; other important plants include Utah agave, narrowleaf mesquite, ratany, catclaw, and various cacti species.[25]

Approximately 30 bird species breed primarily in the desert uplands and cliffs of the inner canyon.[31] Virtually all bird species present breed in other suitable habitats throughout the Sonoran and Mohave deserts.[31] The abundance of bats, swifts, and riparian birds provides ample food for peregrines, and suitable eyrie sites are plentiful along the steep canyon walls. Also, several endangered California Condors that were re-introduced to the Colorado Plateau on the Arizona Strip, have made the eastern part of the Park their home.[31]

The conifer forests provide habitat for 52 mammal species.[26] Porcupines, shrews, red squirrels, tassel eared Kaibab and Abert's squirrels, black bear, mule deer, and elk are found at the park's higher elevations on the Kaibab Plateau.[26]

Above the desert scrub and up to 6,200 feet is a pinyon pine, Utah and one seed juniper woodland.[24] Within this woodland one can find big sagebrush, snakeweed, Mormon tea, Utah agave, banana and narrowleaf Yucca, winterfat, Indian ricegrass, dropseed, and needlegrass.[24] There are a variety of snakes and lizards here, but one species of reptile, the mountain short-horned Lizard, is a particularly abundant inhabitant of the piñon-juniper and ponderosa pine forests.[34]

Ponderosa pine forests grow at elevations between 6,500 feet and 8,200 feet, on both North and South rims in the Transition life zone.[24] The South Rim is includes species such as gray fox, mule deer, bighorn sheep, rock squirrels, pinyon pine and Utah juniper.[25] Additional species such as Gambel oak, New Mexico locust, mountain mahogany, elderberry, creeping mahonia, and fescue have been identified in these forests.[24] The Utah tiger salamander and the Great Basin spadefoot toad are two amphibians that are common in the rim forests.[29] Of the approximately 90 bird species that breed in the coniferous forests, 51 are summer residents and at least 15 of these are known to be neotropical migrants.[31]
 Canadian and Hudsonian

Elevations of 8,200 to 9,000 feet are in the Canadian Life Zone, which includes the North Rim and the Kaibab Plateau.[25] Spruce-fir forests characterized by Englemann spruce, blue spruce, Douglas fir, white fir, aspen, and mountain ash, along with several species of perennial grasses, groundsels, yarrow, cinquefoil, lupines, sedges, and asters, grow in this sub-alpine climate.[24] Mountain lions, Kaibab squirrels, and northern goshawks are found here.[25]

Montane meadows and subalpine grassland communities of the Hudsonian life zone are rare and located only on the North Rim.[24] Both are typified by many grass species. Some of these grasses include blue and black grama, big galleta, Indian ricegrass and three-awns.[24] The wettest areas support sedges and forbs.[24]
 Grand Canyon tourism

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world’s premier natural attractions, attracting about five million visitors per year. Overall, 83% were from the United States: California (12.2%), Arizona (8.9%), Texas (4.8%), Florida (3.4%) and New York (3.2%) represented the top domestic visitors. Seventeen percent of visitors were from outside the United States; the most prominently represented nations were the United Kingdom (3.8%), Canada (3.5%), Japan (2.1%), Germany (1.9%) and The Netherlands (1.2%).[35]
Further information: Grand Canyon travel guide from Wikitravel
A view of Grand Canyon Skywalk from Outside Ledge
Aerial view of the less-visited lower Grand Canyon, down river from (west of) Toroweap Overlook
Grand Canyon as seen from a commercial airplane

Aside from casual sightseeing from the South Rim (averaging 7,000 feet [2,100 m] above sea level), rafting, hiking, running and helicopter tours[36] are especially popular. In October 2010 the North Rim is the host to an ultramarathon. The Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon is a 78-mile (126 km) race over 24 hours. The floor of the valley is accessible by foot, muleback, or by boat or raft from upriver. Hiking down to the river and back up to the rim in one day is discouraged by park officials because of the distance, steep and rocky trails, change in elevation, and danger of heat exhaustion from the much higher temperatures at the bottom. Rescues are required annually of unsuccessful rim-to-river-to-rim travelers. Nevertheless, hundreds of fit and experienced hikers complete the trip every year.

Camping on the North and South Rims is generally restricted to established campgrounds and reservations are highly recommended, especially at the busier South Rim. There is at large camping available along many parts of the North Rim managed by Kaibab National Forest. Keep in mind North Rim campsites are only open seasonally due to road closures from weather and winter snowpack. All overnight camping below the rim requires a backcountry permit from the Backcountry Country Office (BCO). Each year Grand Canyon National Park receives approximately 30,000 requests for backcountry permits. The park issues 13,000 permits, and close to 40,000 people camp overnight.[37] The earliest a permit application is accepted is the first of the month, four months before the proposed start month. Applying as soon as allowed will improve your chances of obtaining an overnight backcountry use permit for the dates of your choice. If you are unable to secure a permit from the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office, or you are not comfortable hiking the Canyon on your own you can go with a professional guide.

Tourists wishing for a more vertical perspective can board helicopters and small airplanes in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Grand Canyon National Park Airport (seven miles from the South Rim) for canyon flyovers. Scenic flights are no longer allowed to fly within 1500 feet of the rim within the national park because of a late 1990s crash. Maverick Helicopter offers a tour that descends and lands 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon in Hualapai Indian Territory.[38] The last aerial video footage from below the rim was filmed in 1984. However, some helicopter flights land on the Havasupai and Hualapai Indian Reservations within Grand Canyon (outside of the park boundaries). Recently, the Hualapai Tribe opened the glass-bottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk on their property, Grand Canyon West. The Skywalk has seen mixed reviews since the site is only accessible by driving down a 14-mile (23 km) dirt road, costs a minimum of $85 in total for reservation fees, a tour package and admission to the Skywalk itself and the fact that cameras or other personal equipment are not permitted on the Skywalk at any time due to the hazard of damaging the glass if dropped. The Skywalk is some 24 miles (39 km) west of Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim. Some people mistake the area of Hermit's Rest as the location of the Skywalk.[citation needed]
 Viewing the canyon
Grand canyon.ogg
Play video
A 6 minute video of a flight over the Grand Canyon (view in high quality)

Lipan Point is a promontory located on the South Rim. This point is located to the east of the Grand Canyon Village along the Desert View Drive. There is a parking lot for visitors who care to drive along with the Canyon's bus service that routinely stops at the point. The trailhead to the Tanner Trail is located just before the parking lot. The view from Lipan Point shows a wide array of rock strata and the Unkar Creek area in the inner canyon.

The canyon can be seen from the Toroweap (or Tuweep) Overlook situated 3000 vertical feet above the Colorado River, about 50 miles downriver from the South Rim and 70 upriver from the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This region — “one of the most remote in the United States” according to the National Park Service — is reached only by one of three lengthy dirt tracks beginning in from St. George, Utah, Colorado City or near Pipe Spring National Monument (both in Arizona). Each road traverses wild, uninhabited land for 97, 62 and 64 miles respectively. The Park Service manages the area for primitive value with minimal improvements and services.
 Grand Canyon fatalities
    This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2009)
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Grand Canyon rescue Helicopter, 1978

About 600 deaths have occurred in the Grand Canyon since the 1870s. Some of these deaths occurred as the result of overly zealous photographic endeavors, some were the result of airplane collisions within the canyon, and some visitors drowned in the Colorado River. Many hikers overestimate their fitness level, become dehydrated and confused, and must be rescued. The Park Service now posts a picture of an attractive and fit young man at several trailheads with the caption "Every year we rescue hundreds of people from the Canyon. Most of them look like him", in an attempt to discourage hikers from feats which are beyond their abilities.

Of the fatalities, 53 have resulted from falls; 65 deaths were attributable to environmental causes, including heat stroke, cardiac arrest, dehydration, and hypothermia; 7 were caught in flash floods; 79 were drowned in the Colorado River; 242 perished in airplane and helicopter crashes (128 of them in the 1956 disaster mentioned below); 25 died in freak errors and accidents, including lightning strikes and rock falls; 48 committed suicide; and 23 were the victims of homicides.[39]
 1956 air disaster
Main article: 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision

In 1956 the Grand Canyon was the site of the deadliest commercial aviation disaster in history at the time.

On the morning of June 30, 1956, a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation and a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 departed Los Angeles International Airport within three minutes of one another on eastbound transcontinental flights. Approximately 90 minutes later, the two propeller-driven airliners collided above the canyon while both were flying in unmonitored airspace.

The wreckage of both planes fell into the eastern portion of the canyon, on Temple and Chuar Buttes, near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. The disaster killed all 128 passengers and crew members aboard both planes.

This accident led to the institution of high-altitude flightways and positive control by en route ground controllers.

Canyon tourists and residents of Supai, a town located in the bottom of the canyon, were evacuated from the Supai area on August 17–18, 2008[40] due to a break in the earthen Redlands Dam, located upstream of Supai, after a night of heavy rainfall. Evacuees were taken to Peach Springs, Arizona.[41] More heavy rains were expected and a flash flood warning was put into effect, necessitating the evacuation, according to the Grand Canyon National Park Service.[42] The floods were significant enough to attract coverage from international media.[41]
 See also
Flag of Arizona.svg     Arizona portal
Grandview Point.

    * List of Colorado River rapids and features
    * Grand Canyon National Park
    * List of trails in Grand Canyon National Park
    * Colca Canyon, Peru
    * Cotahuasi Canyon, Peru
    * Jacob Lake, Arizona
    * 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision
    * Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon
    * Grand Canyon Suite


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.

   1. ^ Kiver, E.P. & Harris, D.V. 1999. Geology of US Parklands. Science, 902 pages.
   2. ^ Geologic Formations of the Grand Canyon National Park Service Retrieved 2009-11-17
   3. ^ Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery, by Wayne Ranney, Grand Canyon Association, 2005, ISBN 978-0-938216-82-7
   4. ^ New York Times article Grand Canyon Still Grand but Older published March 7, 2008 based on research by Victor Polyak, Carol Hill, and Yemane Asmerom, Science, Vol 319, 7 March 2008, pages 1377-1380.
   5. ^ Bill Butler www.durangobill.com/Paleorivers_preface.html
   6. ^ Mitchell, Douglas R.; Lippert, Dorothy. Ancient Burial Practices in the American Southwest. Brunson-Hadley, Judy L. (reprint, illustrated ed.). Albuquerque, NM: UNM Press. p. 11. ISBN 082633461X. http://books.google.com/books?id=T7VBVRMFJiAC&pg=PA11&dq=Ongtupqa.
   7. ^ History of the Colorado Plateau
   8. ^ "Nature & Science". National Park Service. January 2007. http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
   9. ^ Wilford, John (2008-02-06). "Study Says Grand Canyon Older Than Thought". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/science/06cnd-canyon.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  10. ^ Science Friday interview How Old is the Grand Canyon? (broadcast Friday, March 7th, 2008)
  11. ^ Definition and examples of differential erosion
  12. ^ "Kaibab National Forest". USDA Forest Service. http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai/recreation/historic/tusayan.shtml. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  13. ^ a b Page Stegner (1994). Grand Canyon, The Great Abyss. HarperCollins. pp. 25. ISBN 0-06-258564-9.
  14. ^ New light on Pattie and the southwestern fur trade
  15. ^ http://www.explorethecanyon.com/explore-learn/grand-canyon-facts.cfm
  16. ^ Secrets in The Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks: Third Edition, Lorraine Salem Tufts (North Palm Beach, Florida; National Photographic Collections; 1998; pages 12–13) ISBN 0-9620255-3-4
  17. ^ "Steve Martin named Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park" (PDF). National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/upload/2.5.07%20GRCA-Martin-%20IMR.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-20.
  18. ^ Myers, A.L. (6 March 2008). "Three-Day Grand Canyon Flood Aims to Restore Ecosystem". Associated Press. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080306-AP-grand-canyo.html.
  19. ^ "Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower". http://www.scienceviews.com/parks/watchtower.html.
  20. ^ a b "Grand Canyon National Park Weather". http://www.grand.canyon.national-park.com/weather.htm.
  21. ^ "Flagstaff Weather Forecast Office". National Weather Service. http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  22. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3591; http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3595; http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3596
  23. ^ Trade Environment Database Projects: Grand Canyon Air Pollution
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q NPS website, Plants
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k NPS website, Animals
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m NPS website, Mammals
  27. ^ a b c NPS website, Nature & Science
  28. ^ NPS website, Endangered Fish
  29. ^ a b c NPS website, Amphibians
  30. ^ NPS website, Crustaceans
  31. ^ a b c d e NPS website, Birds
  32. ^ a b c d NPS website, Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
  33. ^ a b c NPS website, Mollusk
  34. ^ a b c d e f g NPS website, Reptiles
  35. ^ "Executive Summary of Grand Canyon Tourism" (PDF). Northern Arizona University. http://www.nau.edu/hrm/ahrrc/reports/G_C_EXEC_SUMMARY.pdf#search=grandcanyon. Retrieved 2007-01-04.  ]]
  36. ^ Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
  37. ^ Grand Canyon Backcountry Permit Page
  38. ^ How far into the Canyon does helicopter tours land?
  39. ^ Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon Myers, Thomas M. (2001), Over The Edge: Death In Grand Canyon, Puma Press, ISBN 0-9700973-1-X
  40. ^ "Grand Canyon Flooding Forces Evacuations, Searches (Update2)". http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aYtR2v3mOEqw&refer=us.
  41. ^ a b "Dam evacuations in Grand Canyon". BBC. 2008-08-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7567205.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  42. ^ "Dam break forces evacuations in Arizona". http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26256451.

The Navajo Nation (Diné Bikéyah in the Navajo language) is a semi-autonomous Native American homeland covering about 26,000 square miles (67,339 square kilometres, 17 million acres), occupying all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction within the United States.

The Nation encompasses the land, kinship, language, religion, and the right of its people to govern themselves. Members of the Nation are often known as Navajo but traditionally call themselves Diné (sometimes spelled in English as Dineh) which means "The People" in Navajo.

The 2000 census reported 298,215 Navajo people living throughout the United States, of which 173,987 (58.34%) were within the Navajo Nation boundaries. Of these, 131,166 lived in Arizona (17,512 in Maricopa County, which includes the city of Phoenix).

Because the Navajo Nation includes land in three states, its Division of Economic Development compiles census data for the Navajo Nation as a whole. Another group lives on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation along the Colorado River in California and Arizona.

Canyon de Chelly
Navajo sandpainting

The Diné's traditional homelands (known as the Dinétah) encompass an area much larger than the modern reservation. It is bounded by the four sacred mountains : Hesperus Peak, Blanca Peak, Mount Taylor and the San Francisco Peaks. The modern boundaries of the Nation itself are the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation at the Four Corners Monument and stretch across the Colorado Plateau into Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

The Nation surrounds the Hopi Indian Reservation.

The seat of government is in the city of Window Rock in Apache County, Arizona. There are several adjacent "Navajo Indian Reservations" (Alamo, Ramah and Tohajiilee) in this area, but they generally function as sub-units of the "Big Rez" (Big Reservation) with considerable local autonomy.

Situated within the Navajo Nation are Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Monument Valley, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and the Shiprock landmark.

The Navajo Nation is a complex diagram. 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 Navajo and non-Navajo people) and federal and state lands under various jurisdictions.

Large non-contiguous sections of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico are:

    * Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation in western Cibola County and southern McKinley County.
    * Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation in northwestern Socorro County.
    * Canoncito Indian Reservation in western Bernalillo County and eastern Cibola County.

The land area of the reservation is 24,078.127 square miles (62,362.062 km²), making it by far the largest Indian reservation in the United States. It is almost exactly the same size as the state of West Virginia; it is slightly larger in land area, but slightly smaller if water area is included (24,096.295 sq mi or 62,409.12 km²).

In descending order of total area (land and water) within each county, the reservation is located in parts of these eleven counties:

    * Apache County, Arizona (6,864.07 sq mi or 17,777.85 km²)
    * Coconino County, Arizona (5,071.06 sq mi or 13,133.99 km²)
    * Navajo County, Arizona (3,945.81 sq mi or 10,219.61 km²)
    * San Juan County, New Mexico (3,340.59 sq mi or 8,652.09 km²)
    * McKinley County, New Mexico (2,364.13 sq mi or 6,123.07 km²)
    * San Juan County, Utah (1,941.11 sq mi or 5,027.46 km²)
    * Cibola County, New Mexico (240.39 sq mi or 622.60 km²)
    * Sandoval County, New Mexico (134.35 sq mi or 347.97 km²)
    * Socorro County, New Mexico (99.08 sq mi or 256.62 km²)
    * Bernalillo County, New Mexico (93.28 sq mi,or 241.60 km²)
    * Rio Arriba County, New Mexico (2.42 sq mi or 6.27 km²)


The Navajo Nation is recognized as the largest tribe in the United States. Its resident population was 180,462 as of the 2000 census.

Other Native tribes are situated in this area, including several Pueblo nations. Congress established a Hopi (Navajo, Oozéí, or Ayahkinii "underground-house-people") reservation within the Navajo Nation's reservation as a historic homeland where Hopi history predates that of Diné in the area.

Adjacent to or near the Navajo Reservation are the Southern Ute of Colorado, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, both to the north; the Jicarilla Apache to the east, and other tribes to the west and south. A conflict over shared lands emerged in the 1980s, when the Department of the Interior 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 Diné who refused to leave the former shared lands.
 Population by county

The 2000 Census reported these population figures, in descending order of population within each county of the reservation:

    * Apache County, Arizona 54,468
    * McKinley County, New Mexico 33,896
    * San Juan County, New Mexico 27,405
    * Navajo County, Arizona 26,881
    * Coconino County, Arizona 23,216
    * San Juan County, Utah 6,373
    * Sandoval County, New Mexico 2,774
    * Cibola County, New Mexico 2,222
    * Socorro County, New Mexico 1,581
    * Bernalillo County, New Mexico 1,522
    * Rio Arriba County, New Mexico 124

 Communities in the Navajo Nation and with large tribal member populations

    * Alamo, New Mexico
    * Albuquerque, New Mexico
    * Anadarko, Oklahoma
    * Aneth, Utah
    * Baca, New Mexico
    * Beclabito, New Mexico
    * Becenti, New Mexico
    * Big River, California
    * Bitter Springs, Arizona
    * Blythe, California
    * Brimhall Nizhoni, New Mexico
    * Burnside, Arizona
    * Cameron, Arizona
    * Casamero Lake, New Mexico
    * Chambers, Arizona
    * Chilchinbito, Arizona
    * Chinle, Arizona
    * Church Rock, New Mexico (most)
    * Cortez, Colorado
    * Counselor, New Mexico
    * Coyote Canyon, New Mexico
    * Crownpoint, New Mexico (part)
    * Crystal, New Mexico
    * Dennehotso, Arizona
    * Denver, Colorado
    * Dilkon, Arizona
    * Ehrenburg, Arizona
    * Farmington, New Mexico
    * Flagstaff, Arizona
    * Fort Defiance, Arizona
    * Fort Sill, Oklahoma
    * Gallup, New Mexico
    * Ganado, Arizona
    * Grants, New Mexico
    * Greasewood, Arizona
    * Halchita, Utah
    * Heber, Arizona
    * Holbrook, Arizona
    * Hopi County, Arizona
    * Houck, Arizona
    * Huerfano, New Mexico
    * Hunters Point, Arizona
    * Imperial County, California
    * Indian Wells, Arizona
    * Iyanibito, New Mexico
    * Jeddito, Arizona
    * Kaibito, Arizona
    * Kanab, Utah
    * Kayenta, Arizona
    * Lawton, Oklahoma
    * Las Vegas, Nevada
    * La Paz County, Arizona
    * Lechee, Arizona
    * Leupp, Arizona
    * Littlewater, New Mexico
    * Los Angeles County, California
    * Lukachukai, Arizona
    * Many Farms, Arizona
    * Maricopa County, Arizona
    * Mariano Lake, New Mexico
    * Moab, Utah
    * Mohave County, Arizona
    * Montezuma Creek, Utah (most)
    * Monument Valley, Utah
    * Nageezi, New Mexico
    * Nakaibito, New Mexico
    * Naschitti, New Mexico
    * Navajo, New Mexico
    * Navajo Mountain, Utah
    * Nazlini, Arizona
    * Needles, California
    * Nenahnezad, New Mexico
    * Newcomb, New Mexico
    * Oak Spring, Arizona
    * Ojo Amarillo, New Mexico
    * Ojo Encino, New Mexico
    * Oljato, Arizona
    * Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    * Page, Arizona
    * Palm Springs, California
    * Parker, Arizona
    * Phoenix, Arizona
    * Pinon, Arizona
    * Pinedale, New Mexico
    * Prescott, Arizona
    * Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico (part)
    * Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation, Ramah, New Mexico
    * Red Mesa, Arizona
    * Riverside County, California
    * Rock Point, Arizona
    * Rough Rock, Arizona
    * Round Rock, Arizona
    * Salt Lake City, Utah
    * San Bernardino County, California
    * San Diego, California
    * Santa Fe, New Mexico
    * Sanostee, New Mexico
    * Sawmill, Arizona
    * Sedona, Arizona
    * Sheep Springs, New Mexico
    * Shiprock, New Mexico
    * Shonto, Arizona
    * Smith Lake, New Mexico
    * St. Michaels, Arizona
    * Standing Rock, New Mexico
    * Steamboat, Arizona
    * Teec Nos Pos, Arizona
    * Thoreau, New Mexico
    * To'Hajiilee, New Mexico
    * Tohatchi, New Mexico
    * Tonalea, Arizona
    * Torreon, New Mexico
    * Tsaile, Arizona
    * Tse Bonito, New Mexico (part)
    * Tselakai Dezza, Utah
    * Tuba City, Arizona
    * Tucson, Arizona
    * Twin Lakes, New Mexico
    * Upper Fruitland, New Mexico
    * White Horse Lake, New Mexico
    * Wide Ruins, Arizona
    * Window Rock, Arizona
    * Winslow, Arizona
    * Yah-ta-hey, New Mexico (part)
    * Yavapai County, Arizona
    * Yuma, Arizona

Navajo hunters outside Sam Day's Trading Post in 1887

Prior to the Long Walk of the Navajo, traditional Navajo government was based upon regional communities and extended family leaders who worked together by consensus. (See Navajo people for more about Navajo traditions.) Europeans have tried to overlay their notions of government upon the Navajo for centuries with the Diné sometimes accepting change as needed.

In 1863 and 1864, as the Anglo settlers' demand for land grew, the United States government forced more than 8,500 Navajo men, women and children to march in harsh winter conditions for hundreds of miles to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico (present-day Ft. Sumner) as part of President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act. Some Navajos were able to escape and hide at Navajo Mountain, along the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, and in the Grand Canyon. As the march went on, the Navajo were forced to leave their elderly and young children behind to die. Five months later, the Navajos arrived at Bosque Redondo. Many Navajos died at the wretched prison camp, due to poor living conditions. The Navajos were imprisoned for about six years, and released in May 1868. Bosque Redondo had been proved as a miserable failure, because of poor planning, disease, crop infestation and generally poor conditions for agriculture.

After the Long Walk, the United States Government's Indian Policy determined the administration of the reservation. Appointed federal individuals (Indian Agents) essentially ruled the reservation, sometimes relying on the counsel of traditional Navajo methods of government. The current tribal government was established and recognized by the federal government in 1923.

The Diné have refused three times to establish a new government under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Members twice rejected constitutional initiatives offered by the federal government in Washington, first in 1935 and again in 1953. A reservation-based initiative in 1963 failed after some members found the process to be too cumbersome and a possible 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.

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 Navajo Nation represented at a constitution 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, grass roots organizer Ivan Gamble, and other local political activists according to Indian Country Today.[1]
 Modern day
Northern Navajo Fair Shiprock, New Mexico (2009)

Wage employment opportunities, public schools, hospitals, and public utilities have brought Navajo people in larger and larger numbers to urban centers such as Shiprock, Tuba City, Ganado, Fort Defiance and Gallup. A strong sense of tribal identity has kept Navajo culture and social cohesiveness intact, despite the many changes of the last century.

The Navajo Nation works to provide new business opportunities and partnerships with individuals, small business owners, and large commercial/industrial and tourism establishments. In order to become more efficient and accessible, the Navajo Nation is working to upgrade and implement its programs to benefit these burgeoning business relationships.

Opportunities for starting or expanding businesses on the Navajo Nation are not limited to members of the tribe. The Navajo Nation is currently recruiting outside private commercial/industrial and tourism development.

In recent years, the Division of Economic Development (DED) completed a range of developments including the completion of Phase I, Karigan Estates. The development plan included housing for middle- to high-income Navajo families, an office building complex, a restaurant, a commercial area and a day care center. A small amount of Navajo can also be found at Muddy Creek Reserve near Newkirk, Oklahoma.
 Tribal membership and citizenship

Each tribe establishes its own requirements for being an enrolled tribal member, which is usually based on "blood quantum". The Navajo Nation requires a blood quantum of one-quarter for a person, the equivalent of having one of four Diné clans, to be an enrolled tribal member and to receive a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB). In comparison, some tribes require a 1/32 blood quantum for issuing a CIB. In 2004, the Navajo Tribal 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.

Tribes with lower or no blood quantum requirements sometimes discover individuals who falsely identify themselves as tribal members, commonly to fraudulently attain Federal and Tribal benefits which are provided to registered members of a Federally recognized tribe.[citation needed]
Navajo girl, Canyon de Chelly, 1941. Photo by Ansel Adams

Historically the Navajo Nation resisted compulsory education, including boarding schools, as imposed by General Richard Henry Pratt.[2]

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, 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, taught at Borrego Pass School on the Navajo Reservation and wrote a novel called In the Sun's House: My Year on the Navajo Reservation (Trinity University Press, 2009) which talks about his life changing experiences there.

Since these drop out rates are high among the Navajo Nation, programs such as the Literacy is Empowering Project help combat these problems. It is a non-profit project which promotes literacy and pre-reading skills for Native children to increase standard academic language.
 Secondary education

There are six types of secondary establishments, including:

    * Eight Arizona Public Schools
    * New Mexico Public Schools
    * Utah Public Schools
    * Bureau of Indian Affairs Public Schools
    * Association of Navajo Controlled Schools
    * Navajo Preparatory School, Inc.

 Navajo Preparatory School
Main article: Navajo Preparatory School

Navajo Preparatory School is the only Navajo-sanctioned, college-preparatory school for Native Americans. Its goals are to offer students a challenging, innovative curriculum in science, math, computers, and other traditional academic subjects, as well as help the youth gain a deep appreciation of the Navajo Language, culture, and history.[3]

Located in Farmington, New Mexico, a few miles outside the Navajo reservation, Navajo Preparatory School's 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
Main article: Diné College

The Navajo Nation operates Diné College, a two-year community college which has its main campus in Tsaile in Apache County, as well as seven other campuses on the reservation. Current enrollment is 1,830 students, of which 210 are degree-seeking transfer students for four-year institutions. The college includes the Center for Diné Studies, whose 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 in preparation for further studies and employment in a multi-cultural and technological world.
 Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education

The Navajo Nation Board of Education is an 11 member board instructed to oversee the operations of schools on the Navajo Nation and exercise regulatory functions and duties over education programs on the Navajo Nation. 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.

It is the educational mission of the Navajo Nation to promote and foster lifelong learning for the Navajo people, and to protect the culture integrity and sovereignty of the Navajo Nation. A Navajo Nation Board of Education meeting is scheduled the first Friday of every month.

Rebecca M. Benally held the Board President position until she stepped down in order to maintain the ability to vote on important issue, in which the board president does not have the power to do.

Through a process of Presidential Appointment and ballot election process, the Board realigned their officers in 2009. The new officers are:

    * Jimmie C. Begay - President (School Administrator Representative)

    * Katherine D. Arviso - Vice President

    * Dolly C. Begay - Secretary

    * Rebecca M. Benally - Member

    * Vee F. Browne - Member

    * Virgil Kirk, Jr. - Member

    * Rose J. Yazzie - Member

    * Juanita K. Benally - Member

    * Timothy Bitsilly - Member

Other members include elected representatives from Eastern Navajo Agency, Dolly C. Begay: Western Agency, Dr. Dolly Manson; Ft. Defiance Agency, Katherine Arviso; and Shiprock Agency, Virgil Kirk, Jr. Presidential-appointed members are Juanita Benally-Navajo Culture Representative, .
 Tommy Lewis Incident

In July 2007, on a vote of 5-2, the Navajo Nation Board of Education voted to release Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tommy Lewis from his job for lack of performance, claiming that Lewis was slow to implement a strategic plan to improve the tribe's education program. Eddie Biakeddy, second-in-command at the time, was appointed acting superintendent. The board then began advertising the job position immediately.[4]

I believe as we move forward for Navajo Nation education systems, as leaders we have to take a stand, Benally said. And I believe that as the Navajo Nation Board of Education we have, because we observed stagnation in a position that should have had a vision to provide a better quality education for our children. That wasn't happening.

Lewis filed a complaint with the Navajo Office of Labor Relations, claiming that his dismissal was an unjust violation of Diné Fundamental Law; the tribe was thus prevented from seeking a permanent replacement while the Lewis case was pending, holding up important issues at his behest.

The Navajo Nation Tribal Council Committee of Education reached a monetary settlement with Lewis in April 2008; however the Navajo Nation Board of Education remained consistent to its earlier decision on terminating Lewis.[5]
Navajo Nation Council Chamber, a National Historic Landmark

Diné government is unique in several ways. The Navajo Nation is divided into five Agencies. These are similar to provincial entities and match the five Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agencies which support the Nation. The smallest political units are the Chapters, similar to counties. The Navajo Nation Council presently consists of 88 delegates representing the 110 Chapters, elected every four years by registered Navajo voters. As reorganized in 1991, the Nation's government at the capital in Window Rock has a three branch system: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

On December 15, 2009, the voters of the Navajo Nation decided to reduce the Council from 88 delegates to just 24 delegates. Navajos did this as an effort to have a more efficient government and to curb rampant tribal government corruption.[6]

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 for Secretarial Review, 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. The Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains five Indian Agencies within the Navajo Indian Reservation: Chinle, Eastern, Western, Fort Defiance, and Shiprock. The Agencies provide various technical services under direction of the BIA's Navajo Area Office in Gallup, New Mexico.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies that routinely work within the Navajo Nation include the Navajo Division of Public Safety, with the Navajo Nation Police (formerly the "Navajo Tribal Police"), Navajo Nation Resource Enforcement (Navajo Rangers, the BIA Police (Ute Mountain Agency, Hopi Agency, and Division of Drug Enforcement), Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife - Wildlife Law Enforcement and Animal Control Sections, Nation Nation Forestry Law Enforcement Officers, Nation Nation EPA Criminal Enforcement Section, Apache County Sheriff's Office, McKinley County Sheriff's Office, US Marshals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Navajo governing council continues a historical practice of prohibiting alcohol sales within reservation boundaries. Leaders and some member groups actively oppose the sale of alcohol, and have taken several measures to find and offer treatment for those members who are suffering from alcoholism.

Lands within the exterior boundaries of The Navajo Nation are composed of Public, Tribal Trust, Tribal Fee, BLM, 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 lands fore mentioned. 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.

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.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr. addressed the Navajo Nation Council in the annual State of the Navajo Nation Address on January 24, 2005 and presented his conviction to develop a new governing document for the Navajo Nation. President Shirley, who campaigned to return government to the Diné by government reform, stated that the document must establish the structure and authority of a central government.
 Political leadership

Office of President and Vice-President

    * 2007–Present — Navajo Nation President — Joe Shirley Jr. (D)
          o Navajo Nation Vice-President — Ben Shelly (D)
    * 2002-2006 — NN President — Joe Shirley Jr. (D)
          o NN Vice-President — Frank Dayish Jr. (R)
    * 1998-2002 — NN President — Kelsey A. Begaye (D)
          o NN Vice-President — Dr. Taylor McKenzie (D)
    * 1998-1998 — NN President — Milton Bluehouse Sr. (D)(Interim)
    * 1998-1998 — NN President — Thomas Atcitty (D)(Interim)
    * 1994-1998 — NN President — Albert Hale (D)
          o NN Vice-President — Thomas Atcitty (D)
    * 1991-1994 — NN President — Peterson Zah (D)
          o NN Vice-President — Marshall Plummer(D)
    * 1988-1991 — NN Chairman — Leonard Haskie (D) (Interim)
    * 1987-1988 — NN Chairman — Peter MacDonald (R)
          o NN Vice-Chairman — Johnny R. Thompson (D)
    * 1983-1987 — NN Chairman — Peterson Zah (D)
          o NN Vice-Chairman — Edward T. Begay (D)

 2006 elections

Eleven (11) candidates ran in the 2006 Primary Elections:

    * Joe Shirley Jr. (Chinle)
    * Frank Dayish Jr. (Shiprock)
    * Ernest Harry Begay (Rock Point)
    * Lynda Lovejoy (Crownpoint)
    * James Henderson (Ganado)
    * Calvin Tsosie (Yatahey)
    * Wilbur Nelson (?)
    * Harrison Todichinii (Shiprock)
    * Vern Lee (Kirtland)
    * Jennifer Rocha (Crownpoint)

The Primary winners faced off in the General Elections in November 2006:

    * Joe Shirley Jr. Chinle
    * Lynda Lovejoy Crownpoint

In 2006, Lynda Lovejoy was the first woman to ever make it to the General elections in modern Navajo Nation History, squaring off against the incumbent. Three days after the primaries Lynda Lovejoy selected Walter Phelps Jr. of Leupp, Arizona as her running mate. Although both candidates were Navajo members, Phelps did live off the reservation prior to running for the Vice-Presidential nomination which in retrospect contributed to the downfall of her campaign.

The following day Joe Shirley selected veteran-Navajo Tribal Councilman Bennie Shelly of Thoreau, New Mexico as his running mate. Both sides of the campaign teams ran strong platforms before the Navajo voters with the Shirley/Shelly campaign over all winning re-election.
 2010 elections

Eleven (11) candidates ran in the 2010 Primary Elections, along with 1 write in candidate:

    * Ben Shelly (Thoreau, New Mexico)
    * Donald Benally (Shiprock, New Mexico)
    * Rex Lee Jim (Rock Point, Arizona)
    * Lynda Lovejoy (Crownpoint, New Mexico)
    * Anthony Begay (Mariano Lake, New Mexico)
    * D. Harrison Tsosie (Waterflow, New Mexico)
    * Dale Tsosie (Lechee, Arizona)
    * Arbin Mitchell (Wide Ruin, Arizona)
    * Sharon Clahchishchillage (Gad'iiahi, New Mexico)
    * Jerry Todecheene (Shiprock, New Mexico)
    * Daniel Peaches (Kayenta, Arizona)
          o Write In: George Herrera (Whiterock, New Mexico)

The Primary winners faced off in the General Elections in November 2010:

    * Ben Shelly, Thoreau, New Mexico
    * Lynda Lovejoy Crownpoint

In 2006, Lynda Lovejoy was the first woman to ever make it to the General elections in modern Navajo Nation History. In 2010 she manage to surpass her opponents by a large margin, easily capturing a place on the General Navajo Nation Ballot. Navajo Nation Vice-President Ben Shelly Thoreau, New Mexico came in second. He will also be on the November 2010 ballot. This is the first time both Navajo Nation candidates are from New Mexico, particularly Eastern Navajo Agency; and their respected chapters just 20 miles apart.
 21st Navajo Nation Council

The 21st Navajo Nation Council convened immediately after the 6th President of the Navajo Nation, the Honorable Joe Shirley Jr. was sworn in as President for a 2nd term, with Vice-President elect Ben Shelly.

Two term Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, Lawrence T. Morgan ran for a 3rd term as Speaker of the Council, while running against Fort Defiance Council Delegate Harold Wauneka in a run-off. Speaker Morgan captured a 3rd consecutive win, as Speaker of the 21st Navajo Nation Council. In 2009 Speaker Morgan once again won re-election to lead the Navajo Nation Council. Speaker Morgan has now serve a total of 4 terms as a Speaker, making him the first to ever do so.
 Notable council delegates

Orlanda Smith Hodge (Cornfields, Greasewood, Klagetoh and Wide Ruins Chapters)

    * Leonard Tsosie (Whitehorse/Torreon//Pueblo Pintado)
    * Kenneth Maryboy (Aneth/Red Mesa//Mexican Water)
    * Davis Filfred (Aneth/Red Mesa//Mexican Water)
    * Young Jeff Tom (Mariano Lake/Smith Lake)
    * Lorenzo Bates (Upper Fruitland)
    * Larry Anderson Sr. (Fort Defiance)
    * Councilmen George Arthur (San Juan, Burnham, Nahenezad)
    * Ray Berchman (St. Michael/Oaksprings)
    * Ervin Keeswood (Tse Daakaan)
    * Hope MacDonald-Lonetree (Tuba City/Coalmine Canyon)
    * Johnny Naize (Tselani/Cottonwood/Nazlini)
    * Harold Wauneka (Fort Defiance)
    * Lorenzo Curley (Nahata Dziil/Lupton/Houck)
    * Katherine Benally (Dennehotso)
    * Former Council Delegate Mark Maryboy(Aneth/Red Mesa//Mexican Water)

 Past Speakers of the Navajo Nation Council

    * Nelson Gorman Jr. (Chinle)
    * Kelsey A Begaye (Kaibito)
    * Edward T. Begay (Churchrock)


In April 2006, Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence Morgan faced a charge of criminal battery when he confronted and pushed Council Delegate Mark Maryboy in the council chambers men's restroom. Aneth Chapter members had demanded Morgan issue a public apology, following the bathroom scuffle. Speaker Morgan ignored the Aneth meeting, overall never presenting himself.[7]

Investigators attempted to contact Morgan the following days after the incident. Public safety officials said that they believe Morgan stayed off the reservation to avoid possible arrest.

In an unrelated incident, Morgan was arrested on a warrant after he was pulled over by the Navajo Nation Police Dept. for failure to stop at a stop sign not too far from the council chambers.[7]
 Government issues

The Navajo Nation economy includes traditional endeavors such as sheep and cattle herding, fiber production, weaving, jewelry making, and art trading. Newer industries include coal and uranium mining, though the uranium market slowed near the end of the 20th century. The Navajo Nation's extensive mineral resources [8] are among the most valuable held by Native American nations within the United States.

One important business within the reservation is the operation of handmade arts and crafts shops. A 2004 study by the Navajo Division of Economic Development found that at least 60 percent of all families have at least one member working in this line.
The first issue of Rez Biz magazine.

Navajos 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 in opening a gambling casino. That year, the nation signed a compact with New Mexico to operate a casino at To'hajiilee, near Albuquerque. Navajo leaders were also negotiating with Arizona officials over the opening of casinos near Flagstaff, Lake Powell, Winslow, Sanders (Nahata Dziil Chapter), and Cameron (the Grand Canyon entrance).

Dine Development Corporation was formed in 2004 to promote Navajo business and seek viable business development.[9]

The Black Mesa and Lake Powell railroad serves one of the coal mines in the Diné region, carrying coal to the Navajo Generating Station at Page, Arizona. Another mine in the area, Peabody Energy's Black Mesa coal mine near Kayenta, a controversial strip mine, was shut down on December 31, 2005 for its emission credits. This mine fed the Mohave Power Station at Laughlin, Nevada, via a slurry pipeline that used water from the Black Mesa aquifer.

In early 2008, the Navajo Nation and Boston-based Citizens Energy Corp. reached a deal to build a 500-megawatt wind farm some 50 miles north of Flagstaff, AZ. Known as the Diné Wind Project, it will be the first commercial wind farm in Arizona. However disagreement between the central Navajo government and the local Cameron Chapter have led to confusion as to whether Citizens Energy or another company vetted by the local government will be able to develop on the chapter land.[10]

The unemployment level fluctuates between an overall 40 and 45 percent for the nation of reported taxed income, but in some communities it can go as high as 85 percent or as low as 15 percent.[11]
 Navajo Nation tax incentives

At this time, 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 4.0 % tax on all retail sales, all local business on the Navajo Nation pay this amount.[12]
 Daylight Saving Time

The Nation is the only region within the state of Arizona that observes Daylight Saving Time, in view of the fact that parts of the Nation are located within two other states. The remainder of Arizona is the only part of the continental United States that does not change its clocks.[13]
 Housing and transportation

Currently, 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. Among the six agencies of the Navajo Nation, NHA housing developments exist. There is also the option for many families to build scattered-site homes on their traditional homesite lease.

"Hooghan," means the home for Navajos and it is the center of learning, and the traditional style of home of the Navajo is the hogan. Most modern housing in the Navajo Nation is 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 and electricity, 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 and lack complete kitchen or plumbing facilities. However, infrastructure development has grown significantly through the years, affording Navajo families the modern conveniences of DSL, satellite television and even wireless access in some communities. The government subsidized phone program has brought even 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 only 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.

For a people that historically had almost no cases, currently several types of cancer 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 cancers in teenage Navajo girls, averaging seventeen times higher than the average of girls in the United States.
Navajo woman & child

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

Diabetes mellitus is a major health problem among the Navajo, Hopi and Pima 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.[14]

One in every 2,500 children in the Navajo population inherits Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a condition that endows the 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 disease." This condition is a significant cause of illness and death among Navajo children. Research reveals a similar genetic pattern among the related Apache people. In a December 2007 Associated Press article, Mortan Cowan, M.D., director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of California-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 or develop disease-fighting cells. (Fonseca, Salt Lake Tribune, B10)
See also: The Navajo People and Uranium Mining

From 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were chiseled and blasted from the mountains and plains. The mines provided uranium for the Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort to develop an atomic bomb, and for the weapons stockpile built up during the arms race with the Soviet Union.[15]

Private companies operated the mines with the U.S. government as the sole customer. The boom lasted through the early 1960s. As the threat of the Cold War gradually diminished over the next two decades, four processing mills and more than 1,000 mines on tribal land shut down, leaving behind radioactive waste piles, open tunnels and pits. Few bothered to fence the properties or post warning signs. Federal inspectors seldom intervened.[15]

Over the decades, Navajos residing in the area inhaled radioactive dust from the waste piles, borne aloft by desert winds. They drank water contaminated from rain filled abandoned pit mines. They watered their herds, then butchered the animals and ate the meat.[16]
 Lung cancer

The uranium miners of the West, many of whom were Navajo, had their health compromised by the U.S. nuclear weapons program. According to epidemiologist David Michaels, the Atomic Energy Commission knew that miners on the Colorado Plateau received some of the highest doses of radon (a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rock) ever recorded.[17] Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior, documented the complicity of the AEC and the U.S. Public Health Service in allowing thousands of miners to work in an environment so full of radon that a sizeable proportion of workers would eventually develop lung cancer. The AEC successfully opposed several court cases relating to this issue.[17]
 Clean-up efforts
See also: Church Rock Uranium Mill Spill

Despite efforts made in cleaning up uranium sites, significant problems stemming from the legacy of uranium development still exist today on the Navajo Nation in the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Hundreds of abandoned mines have not been cleaned up and present environmental and health risks in many Navajo communities.[15] At the request of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in October 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Indian Health Service (IHS), developed a coordinated Five-Year Plan to address uranium contamination in consultation with Navajo Nation EPA.[18]

In addition, Navajo communities now have to face proposed new uranium solution mining that threatens the only source of drinking water for 10,000 to 15,000 people living in the Eastern Navajo Agency in northwestern New Mexico. The Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) aims to provide the public with information on resource exploitation on the people and their cultures, lands, water, and air of the American Southwest.[19]
 Notable Navajo people
General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, Pima, Pawnee and other Native American troops.

    * Joe Kieyoomia, captured by the Imperial Japanese Army after the fall of the Philippines in 1942
    * Dr. Fred Begay, Native American nuclear physicist and a Korean War Veteran.
    * Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox outfielder (Enrolled member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes)
    * Notah Begay III, American professional golfer - Navajo and Pueblo tribes.
    * Cory Witherill, first full-blooded Native American in NASCAR.

 Notable Navajo politicians

    * Mark Maryboy (Aneth/Red Mesa/Mexican Water), former NN Council Delegate and currently working in Utah Navajo Investments
    * Leonard Tsosie, Navajo Tribal Councilman (Whitehorse/Torreon//Pueblo Pintado) / Former State Senator - District 22, New Mexico Senate
    * Annie Dodge Wauneka, Former Navajo Tribal Councilwoman
    * Edward T. Begaye, Former Navajo Nation Speaker (Churchrock/Baahali)
    * Annie Deschiney, Former Navajo Nation Councilwoman (Churchrock/Baahaali)
    * Peter MacDonald, Former Navajo Tribal Chairman
    * Rapheal Martin, Pinedale Chapter President
    * Kenneth Maryboy (Aneth/Red Mesa/Mexican Water), helped initiate the Navajo Santa Program for poverty stricken Navajo families
    * Joe Shirley, Jr., President of the Navajo Nation
    * James Henderson, Jr., Former Arizona Senator
    * Donald Benally, Shiprock Chapter Vice-President, Fmr. Council Delegate

 Musicians and media artists

    * Klee Benally, documentary filmmaker[20]
    * Kaibah Bennett, Navajo Nation soloist
    * Blackfire, Navajo punk rock group
    * Radmilla Cody, traditional singer
    * R. Carlos Nakai, Native American flutist
    * Dan Jim Nez, Navajo soloist
    * Jay Tavare, actor
    * Malachi Thistle, singer
    * Joe Tohonnie Jr., singer
    * Kee Chee Jake, Singer

 Notable Navajo visual artists
Navajo sandpainting, circa 1900

    * Harrison Begay (b. 1914), Studio painter
    * R. C. Gorman (1932–2005), painter and printmaker
    * David Johns (b. 1948), painter
    * Yazzie Johnson, contemporary silversmith
    * Hastiin Klah, weaver and co-founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
    * Gerald Nailor, Sr. (1917–1952), studio painter
    * Atsidi Sani (ca. 1828-1918), first known Navajo silversmith
    * Clara Nezbah Sherman, weaver
    * Tommy Singer, silversmith and jeweler
    * Quincy Tahoma (1920–1956), Studio painter
    * Emmi Whitehorse, contemporary painter
    * Melanie Yazzie, contemporary printmaker

 Navajo writers

    * Irvin Morris, author and lecturer
    * Luci Tapahonso, poet and lecturer
    * Elizabeth Woody, author, educator, and environmentalist
    * Sherwin Bitsui, author and poet

 See also

    * Long Walk of the Navajo
    * Black Mesa, Arizona
    * American Indian Code Talkers
    * Dinetah
    * Downwinders
    * KTNN Radio
    * KTDB Radio
    * Manuelito, famous 19th century war chief
    * Navajo Indian Irrigation Project
    * Navajo language
    * Navajo music
    * Navajo people
    * Navajo Rug
    * Rez Biz magazine
    * Southern Athabaskan languages


   1. ^ Lee, Tanya. Navajo group begins process of crafting a constitution Indian Country Today. 19 June 2006 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
   2. ^ Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Liberty, Paternalism, and the Redemptive Promise of Educational Choice, 2008 BYU Law Review 377 The Navajo and Richard Henry Pratt
   3. ^ Navajo Preparatory School
   4. ^ Helms, Kathy. Navajo schools superintendent fired. Gallup Independent. 1 Aug 2007 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
   5. ^ Fonseca, Felicia. Navajo Nation settles with former education superintendent . News from Indian Country. (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
   6. ^ http://navajotimes.com/news/2009/1209/121709elex.php
   7. ^ a b Johnson, Natasha Kaye. "Push Comes to Shove: Speaker Morgan accused of battery against council delegate Maryboy." Gallup Independent. 22 April 2006 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
   8. ^ Avyen von Waldenburg
   9. ^ Diné Development Corporation. (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
  10. ^ "Rez ready to develop wind power" by Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press, March 28, 2008|150px|
  11. ^ "Navajo Division of Economic Development". http://www.navajobusiness.com/fastFacts/Overview.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  12. ^ "Navajo Nation sales tax to rise one percent on July 1." The Navajo Nation: Office of the President and Vice President. 30 March 2007 (retrieved 15 Jan 2009)
  13. ^ Arizona Time Zone
  14. ^ American Indians and Alaska Natives and Diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
  15. ^ a b c Pasternak, Judy. "A peril that dwelt among the Navajos." Los Angeles Times. 19 Nov 2006 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
  16. ^ Raloff, Janet. Uranium, the newest 'hormone'. Science News. Vol. 166, #20. 13 Nov 2004 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
  17. ^ a b David Michaels (2008). Doubt is Their Product, Oxford University Press, pp. 219-220.
  18. ^ "Summit to address uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation." US Environmental Protection Agency. 13 Aug 2008 (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
  19. ^ "Environmental Impacts on the Navajo Nation from Uranium Mining." Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. (retrieved 5 Oct 2009)
  20. ^ Klee Benally

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