Background


The Navajo Nation, or Diné Bikeyah, is a 24,078 square mile sovereign land base that extends across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and represents 36 percent of all Indian lands in the continental United States. Over 300,000 people call the Navajo Nation home, many of whom are among those Native Americans who serve in the United States Armed Forces at a rate five times the national average. For more than one hundred years, Diné have served with distinction in every major conflict the United States has ever fought. The Navajo Code Talkers, for example, were instrumental in helping the United States win World War II.

But the United States and Navajo were not always on the same side.

In 1848, the Army initiated a scorched earth campaign against the Diné that in 1863 devolved into their forced relocation known as the “Navajo Long Walk,” in which Kit Carson’s soldiers forced 11,500 Diné to walk as much as 450 miles to a concentration camp in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. In 1868, the Navajo became the only Native Nation to use a treaty to escape removal and return to their home, enabling the Diné to return to their homeland within their four sacred mountains: Sisnaajiní, or Blanca Peak in the east; Tsoodził, or Mount Taylor in the south; Dook’o’oosłííd, or the San Francisco Peaks in the west; and Dibé Nitsaa, or Mount Hesperus in the north.

The Naal Tsoos Sani, or Treaty of 1868, is the contractual agreement between the U.S. government and the Navajo Nation, key to preserving our sovereignty, and the basis of our government to government relationship with the United States.

Today


The Navajo Nation central government is composed of three branches headquartered in Window Rock, Navajo Nation (Arizona) that all branches of the Navajo Nation government exercise varied delegated powers and governmental authority in accordance with Navajo statutory, regulatory, and common law:

The President and Vice President launch serve a four-year term by the popular vote of the Navajo people, heading the Executive Branch that is comprised of ten executive departments, identified as “Divisions” that provide a broad range of governmental services.

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Navajo Nation President

JONATHAN NEZ


Jonathon Nez--Áshįįhí (Salt People) born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle clan), maternal grandfather’s clan is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), and paternal grandfather’s clan is Táchii’nii (Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan)-- was elected in 2019 to serve as the ninth Navajo Nation President after having served as the Navajo Nation Vice-President.

President Nez also served two terms as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate and two terms as a Supervisor in Navajo County, Arizona. He is an alumnus of Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration from NAU.

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Navajo Nation Vice President

MYRON LIZER


Myron Lizer-- Numunu (Comanche) born for Tó’áhání (Near-To-Water Clan), maternal grandfather’s clan is Numunu (Comanche), and paternal grandfather’s clan is Tł’ááshchí’í (Red Bottom People)-- was elected in 2019 to serve as Vice-President of the Navajo Nation. Vice President Myron brings to the Office his wealth of experience in business management and team building.

In 2012, Vice President Lizer participated in a team that promoted the Navajo Nation partnering with the Nation of Israel in advancing business and economic relationships and developing the understanding that Israel and the Navajo Nation share a lot of the same hardships and opportunities as a First Nations people.

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The Judicial Branch launch, headed by the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation who is appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council, consists of seven District Courts, seven Family Courts, seven Peacemaker courts, and a Supreme Court.

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Navajo Chief Justice

JOANN JAYNE

Chief Justice Jayne is Tábąąhá, born for Kinyaa’áanii. She was born in Shiprock, N.M., and grew up in Tohatchi, N.M. She has a bachelor of science degree in agricultural industry from Arizona State University, a master of science degree in watershed management from University of Arizona and a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law. She presides over the Navajo Nation court system with the first ever all female judges bench.

The 24 member Navajo Nation Council has the authority to pass laws which govern the Navajo Nation, members of the Navajo Nation, and certain conduct of non-member Indians and non-Indians within the territorial boundaries of the Navajo Nation.

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The 24 member Navajo Nation Council launch has the authority to pass laws which govern the Navajo Nation, members of the Navajo Nation, and certain conduct of non-member Indians and non-Indians within the territorial boundaries of the Navajo Nation.

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Navajo Speaker of the Council

SETH DAMON

Seth Damon, Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, is currently serving his second term on the Council. During the 23rd Council, Speaker Damon served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and Vice Chair of the Eastern Navajo Land Commission. Speaker Damon’s goals for his term as speaker include promoting sustainable economic growth, expanding the Navajo Nation’s tax base, developing community infrastructure capacity, and working with the Council’s Standing Committees to advance their priorities.

The Judicial Branch, headed by the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation who is appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council, consists of seven District Courts, seven Family Courts, seven Peacemaker courts, and a Supreme Court.

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The Navajo Nation Flag


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Beneath our rainbow of sovereignty, between the four sacred mountains, the tan land mass of today’s Navajo Nation includes our original 1868 Treaty Reservation in dark brown. The center medallion depicts the sacred sun delivering light to sheep who are central to our herding culture; homes that shelter families who are the heart of the Navajo Nation; wild fauna that feed and heal our families; and an oil derrick that represents our industrial potential. Encircling all of this are two green corn stalks tipped with sacred corn pollen that represent fertility and sustenance.

The Navajo Nation Seal


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The Great Seal has fifty arrowheads symbolizing the Navajo Nation's protection within the fifty states. The opening at the top of the three concentric lines is considered the East. The lines represent the rainbow and sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.