Desert Animal Companions of the Navajo Nation




Background

RAMAH WHITECONE NENAHNEZAD INDIAN WELLS ALAMO CANONCITO LITTLEWATER CASAMERO LAKE THOREAU BACA NAGEEZI COUNSELOR TORREON OJO ENCINO PUEBLO PINTADO WHITE HORSE LAKE BECENTI CROWNPOINT NAHODISHGISH STANDING ROCK LAKE VALLEY WHITE ROCK NASCHITTI SHEEP SPRINGS SMITH LAKE MARIANO LAKE IYANBITO PINEDALE CHURCH ROCK BREAD SPRINGS RED ROCK MANUELITO TSAYATOH ROCK SPRINGS COYOTE CANYON TOHATCHI MEXICAN SPRINGS TWIN LAKES FORT DEFIANCE SAINT MICHAELS KINLINCHEE CHICHILTAH NAHATA DZIIL LUPTON HOUCK OAK SPRINGS KLAGETOH WIDE RUINS GANADO CORNFIELDS STEAMBOAT LOWER GREASEWOOD TEESTO JEDDITO DILKON BIRDSPRINGS LEUPP TOLANI LAKE CAMERON COALMINE MESA HARD ROCK LOW MOUNTAIN WHIPPOORWILL PINON FOREST LAKE TACHEE BLACK MESA TSELANI NAZLINI SAWMILL RED LAKE 18 CRYSTAL TSAILE/WHEATFIELDS CHINLE LUKACHUKAI MANY FARMS HUERFANO BURNHAM TWO GREY HILLS NEWCOMB SANOSTEE UPPER FRUITLAND SAN JUAN HOGBACK CUDEII BECLABITO SHIPROCK COVE RED VALLEY SWEETWATER ROUND ROCK ROUGH ROCK CHILCHINBETO TONALEA TUBA CITY BODAWAY/GAP COPPERMINE KAIBETO INSCRIPTION HOUSE SHONTO TEEC NOS POS ANETH RED MESA MEXICAN WATER ROCKPOINT DENNEHOTSO KAYENTA LECHEE NAVAJO MOUNTAIN OLJATO

Map of the Navajo Nation Chapters, with links to the Chapters, from the Navajo Nation Design and Engineering Services web site. There is more information on the chapters on the Navajo Nation Division of Community Development web site.


Travelers from all over the United States, Europe and Japan come to the Southwest to visit the Navajo Nation. Renowned for its remarkable beauty, the Navajo Nation lands extend into the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, covering over 26,000 square miles.

Read a great article about Animal Planet's visit to the Navajo Nation in April, 2002, with a lot of background on pet overpopulation issues on the Nation and what the NNVLP is doing to help with spay/neuter programs, education, and networking with nonprofit organizations.

View a map of Navajo Country.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, of the 180,000 residents residing on Navajo Nation tribal land, 168,000 are Navajo enrolled members, with the remaining being non-members who reside and work within the Navajo Nation. Another 80,000 Navajos reside near or within "border towns" of the Navajo Nation -- Farmington, N.M., Gallup, N.M., Grants, N.M., Page, AZ, Flagstaff, AZ, Cortez, CO, Winslow, AZ, Holbrook, AZ, and Blanding, UT.

According to the '2000/2001 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy' report from the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development, 56.1 percent of Navajo people live below the poverty level, the per capita income is $6,217, and an unemployment rate at 43.65 percent.

According to the 'Census 2000' report from the Division of Economic Development, Navajo Nation, of the 68,744 housing units on the Navajo Nation, 31.9 percent lack complete plumbing; 28.1 percent lack a complete kitchen facility; and 60.1 percent lack telephone service.

Because of the vast reaches of the Navajo Nation, many people living on the Nation live far from services in remote rural areas. Many reservation roads are unpaved, which is a major hardship during the winter time. (Info from Profile of the Navajo Nation from the Navajo Nation Washington Office website.)

Due to budget constraints, in October, 1999, the Navajo Nation gutted their Animal Control department, from 15 animal control officers down to 3, and closed their animal shelter. Since then, many thousands of dog bites have been reported. Many tourists have written letters to the paper, and to Animal Control about the heartbreak they feel when they see the starving strays wandering the reservation. In October, 2001, the Navajo Nation Council approved a budget for the coming fiscal year that allows for the hiring of 10 new Animal Control officers. (Info reported in The Gallup Independent, September 27, 2001, in an article which really gives a lot of background about the Animal Control issues.)

One of the subjects of the documentary, Desert Dogs, is the complex spiritual relationship between the Navajo people and the dog, and how old beliefs clash with the reality of a changing culture. Education about the importance of spay/neuter and proper health care is an important part of dealing with the animal overpopulation crisis.

View the Navajo Nation website.

Navajo Nation Washington Office has Navajo legislative news and other news listed on their web site.

Here are links to three area newspapers:

The Navajo Times, Window Rock, AZ

The Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM

Navajo-Hopi Observer, Flagstaff, AZ