Tribal and Local Government Since 1989, the Navajo Nation has governed itself using a three-branch system of government: The Executive Branch is headed by the President and Vice President. Elected officials serve a four-year term by the popular vote of the Navajo people.
Manuelito, original name Bullet, (died 1893, Navajo Reservation, New Mexico Territory, U.S.), Navajo chief known for his strong opposition to the forced relocation of his people by the U.S. government.
Traditional Navajo society was organized through matrilineal kinship; small, independent bands of related kin generally made decisions on a consensus basis. Similar groups still exist but tend to be based on locality of residence as well as kinship; many of these local groups have elected leaders.
In 1855 Governor David Merriweather of New Mexico appointed Manuelito the “official chief” of the Navajo after Zarcillos Largos resigned. He was one of the twenty-five leaders to sign the Treaty of 1868. This treaty allowed the Navajo to return to their ancestral homelands.
The Executive Branch is headed by the President and the Vice-President. They are elected by popular vote of the Navajo people for a term of four years. These delegates are elected by a four-year term by the registered voters of all the 110 Chapters, which are the smallest administrative units across the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo are known for their woven rugs and blankets. They first learned to weave cotton from the Pueblo peoples. When they started to raise sheep they switched to wool. For this reason they were often called Chief’s Blankets.
Manuelito(1818â€“1893)who for many years was the most influential chief among the Navajoes.
Diné Bikéyah (pronounced as Din’eh Bi’KAY’ah), or Navajoland is unique because the people here have achieved something quite rare: the ability of an indigenous people to blend both traditional and modern ways of life. The Navajo Nation truly is a nation within a nation.
Originally hunters and gatherers, the Navajo developed an agricultural economy through contact with their Pueblo neighbors and the Spanish. The Navajo depend on agriculture and live-stock but supplement their income through commerce in native crafts.
The Navajo people are a matrilineal and matrilocal society, with each person belonging to four different clans. The first clan is from the mother, second is the father, third is the maternal grandfather and the fourth is the paternal grandfather.
With a 27,000-square-mile reservation and more than 250,000 members, the Navajo Tribe is the largest American Indian tribe in the United States today. More than 1,000 Navajo live, off-reservation, in the region today.
Despite all their efforts, the Navajo (Diné) people were removed from their homelands by the United States government in the 1860s.
Navajo Nation Governmental Structure The Navajo Nation’s inherent right to self-govern is sacred and demonstrated through daily governmental actions.
A person MUST be at least 1/4 (one quarter) Navajo to be enrolled as a member of the Navajo Nation. To determine if you are eligible for tribal membership, contact the Navajo tribe.