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Enhancing the Awareness of Navajo Indians
Michele Amoroso, Holly Bulian, and Tara Smallidge
Loyola University

Enhancing the Awareness of Navajo Indians Native Americans are composed of numerous, distant tribes, bands and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact, sovereign nations. Once a self-governing, self-sufficient people, America Indians were forced to give up their homes and their land, and to subordinate themselves to an alien culture. From the origin of their tribes in the 1500’s to the early nineteenth century, American Indians have experienced oppression. Today, American Indians are more numerous than they have been for several centuries (Andersen & Collins, 2012). Today, Native Americans have a unique relationship with the United States. Since the late 1960’s, political participation has led to an expansion of efforts to teach and preserve Indigenous languages for younger generations and to establish a greater cultural infrastructure. This paper will discuss the specific tribe of the Navajo Indians to create awareness of their history, oppression, and current state in today’s world. The word Navajo comes from the phrase “Tewa Navahu”, meaning highly cultivated lands. The Indians largely reside in New Mexico and Arizona. The Navajo Indians originally began their tribes in the 1500’s. They traded maize, or corn crops, and woven cotton items such as blankets for things such as bison meat, and various materials, which were made for tools and weapons. Homes were known as, “Hogans” and their doors faced the east to be sure the sun would shine in. In 1600’s the Spaniards and Mexicans came into their territory and begun violent actions against the Navajos by raiding on their camps. Eventually 2/3 of the Indians surrendered to their wishes and moved to new territories, including Utah. For those refusing to surrender, they hid out in the mountains

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