Essay about Navajo Indian Nation- Past, Present and Future

2530 Words Feb 9th, 2011 11 Pages
Residing in the Southwest United States, the Navajo Indian tribe is one of the largest tribes in America today. In their own language, they refer to themselves as Diné which means “the people”. They are an old tribe with descendants tracing their roots back to the thirteenth century. The first contact that the Navajos had with white settlers was during the Mexican American War in 1846. The United States conducted peaceful relations with the Navajo for over fifteen years. Forts were built to help protect the Navajo from Spanish/Mexican raids on the Navajo’s cattle. Eventually, a new military commander, James H. Carleton, was named in New Mexico and he began to raid Navajo lands with a vengeance. He ordered the Navajo to surrender. When …show more content…
The average American annual per capita for the same year was $14,420. Over 56% of the nation lives below the poverty level. There is a disparagingly large gap between the Navajo and their American counterparts. Even basic necessities such as plumbing, electricity, telephone, and cable are virtually nonexistent. Over half of the nation uses wood stoves to primarily provide heat their homes. There are no television or radio stations, no public libraries or transportation systems. The Navajo are still living in primarily primitive conditions. Healthcare issues abound in the Navajo nation as the healthcare is mainly aligned for medical care, not preventative, rehabilitation or mental health programs. Alcoholism, inadequate nutrition, high blood pressure, and obesity and diabetes are major concerns within the area. Sanitation, nutrition and housing are blamed as the underlying causes for the many illnesses that the Navajos are faced with. The average age of death is 42 years old for Navajos as compared to the 71 years for Americans. These problems have been steadily growing for the past 50 years. The population has been growing with no economic resources to draw from; therefore, health care can not advance without money. The lack of an enriching education has had a far reaching effect on the Navajo Nation. This has been a problem for a long time, ever since they were removed to the Reservation. They missed the investments that

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