Navajo Nation

Leadership (updated February 2017) Contact Information
Russell Begaye, President Address: PO Box 9000
Jonathan Nez, Vice President                Window Rock, AZ 86515
Legislative Council Phone:    928-871-6000
Website:  http://www.navajo-nsn.gov

GOVERNANCE: In 1923, the Navajo Nation tribal government was established. The Navajo Nation consists of 110 Chapters, divided into 5 agencies. Each chapter has its own elected President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer. The last Primary Election for Chapter leaders was held in August, 2016.

The Navajo Nation Legislative Council (currently the 23rd Council) is run by a President and Vice President, with 24 delegates representing the 110 Chapters. The 23rd Council was inaugurated in January, 2015 to serve for four years. The President and Vice President took office in May 2015. In addition to numerous special sessions throughout the year, the Legislative Council meets quarterly for weeklong general sessions in the summer, fall, winter, and spring. The Council elects a Speaker to serve a two-year term. The Navajo Nation is in Congressional District 1; Legislative District 7.    

RESEARCH PROTOCOL: The Navajo Nation has established a protocol for research and the protection of human subjects. See the following documents:

To watch a video on Navajo Nation Research Protocols, see the presentation by Ronald Maldonado, Historic Preservation Department.

COMMUNITY PROFILE: The Navajo or Dine' (meaning "The People" in the Navajo language) govern the largest reservation in the United States, covering more than 27,000 square miles and extending from Arizona into Utah and New Mexico. According to the 2015 American Community Survey, more than 300,000 Navajo reside in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

The Navajo Nation is made up of diverse households. Households are more likely to be multigenerational (9.6 percent) than the state of Arizona as a whole (1.2 percent).* Less than half of households are traditional married-couple families (34 percent), and households headed by a single female make up one-quarter of all households. Most notably, 53.5 percent of the Nation's householders speak a language other than English.

The median household income for the Nation is $34,607, far lower than the state of Arizona ($51,492). Thus, the Navajo Nation has a poverty rate of 32 percent, which is more than twice as high as poverty rates for the state. 

The Navajo Nation operates four casinos: Fire Rock in Churchrock, NM; Flowing Wells in Shiprock, NM; Northern Edge located between Shiprock and Farmington, NM; and Twin Arrows Casino and Resort near Flagstaff, Arizona. The Nation operates tourist enterprises and trading posts around their many parks and lacks (for example Antelope Pointe Marina, Four Corners Tribal Park, Wheatfields Lake, and Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, among others). 

*All statistics are from 2015 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.