What Are Some Major Events in Navajo History?


Quick Answer

Some of the major events in Navajo history include the tribe immigrating from northern Canada in 1400 AD, inhabiting the southern United States, first contact with European settlers, conflict and a 400-mile journey called the Long Walk. Another major event in Navajo history is the United States' use of the Navajo language during the Second World War.

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The earliest known event in the history of the Navajo people is their immigration into southwestern North America in 1400 AD. Following the Spanish explorers' introduction of the horse in the 18th century, Navajo people began domesticating the animal. Eventually, conflict between the Spanish and the Navajo led to a large war that also involved the Pueblo, Ute and Blackfoot tribes.

In 1849, the United States unsuccessfully attempted to sign a treaty with the Navajo. However, instead of a treaty, the meeting produced a conflict that led to the death of an influential Navajo warrior. In 1864, the United States forced the Navajo to make the Long Walk, a 400-mile journey that took 18 days and claimed many Navajo lives.

In 1923, the Navajo formed an official government and began to negotiate with the United States and American businesses. In 1924, Navajo tribe members secured voting rights as American citizens. In the Second World War, the United States made extensive use of Navajo code talkers to create an indecipherable code language for military transmissions.

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