Navajo Nation, Central Government; Window Rock, AZ

One of the Native American Reservations that Route 66 passes though is the Navajo Nation. This rock formation (known in Navajo as: tségháhoodzání or, the rock-with-hole-through-it), lies the city’s Memorial Navajo Tribal park, and it is what gave Window Rock, Arizona, the nation’s capitol city, its name.

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In the park there is a stature dedicated to the tribe’s veterans (Native Americans take their citizenship and military service VERY seriously — as part of being modern-day warriors) and in particular the statue commemorates the Navajo Code talkers who were instrumental during WWII. IMG_0062.JPG

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Adjacent to the park are MOST of the buildings that constitute the government of the Navajo Nation.

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For those who don’t know, the tribes are Dependent Sovereigns with the right to govern themselves, to a point (and that point has varied). This part of the town is where you’ll find the Navajo Nation’s Counsel Chambers,

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The offices of President and Vice President

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the tribal courts (Each tribal nation has its own Supreme and District courts), and the central location for the Nation’s police force (tribes are controlled by Federal laws but not State).

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Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise

The Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise is located in Window Rock, Arizona, and is for anyone visiting the Southwest in search of Native American Jewelry who gives a shit about their rights and/or disenfranchisement …and all that good shit.

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This is a store run by the Navajo nation that sells the work of some of their best artists– who are insured proper payment for said work. In other words, this is NOT where you come to get the “best prices” (which are often obtained by taking advantage of artists who don’t under stand pricing) but rather some of the best work, guilt free. Everything from jewelry to Navajo rugs, all of the highest quality … where you know for sure it was made by a Navajo and with the best locally sourced stores and wool, etc. (no Chinese crap pretending to be Navajo, etc.)

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If I had a friend who was a Native American Doctor or nurse, I’d buy this for them

The Store also sells Navajo raw products (locally mined stones, wool, etc.) to other Navajo looking to turn them into products for sale to the public.

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They’ve gotten much bigger and much more bureaucratic/professional since i was last here (20 odd yeas ago). In the building they used to not only sell stuff but also have workmen on staff who could repair it for you on the spot. Now they’ve got a second building mile away where they do storage and they keep the repair men hidden away, and you have to drop off and wait a week or so to get the repairs done.

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I had been saving up some stuff I needed fixed for when I next passed through the area, but it appears that was for naught. I even went to the second building hoping I could find somebody who would fix my ring ASAP, as I was only in town for two days… but they said they don’t do that anymore