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Tribal and Local Government

Tribal Government
Window Rock, Arizona is the Navajo Nation capital. Since 1989, the Navajo Nation has governed itself using a three-branch system of government:

The Executive Branch is headed by the President and Vice President. Elected officials serve a four-year term by the popular vote of the Navajo people.

The Judicial Branch is headed by the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation, is appointed by the President, and is confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council.

The Legislative Branch is comprised of 88 members called council delegates or the Navajo Nation Council. Legislators serve a four-year term and are elected by the registered voters of all 110 chapters, the smallest administrative units of the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation Flag

On May 21, 1968, the Navajo Nation Council adopted this flag, designed by Jay R. Degroat, a Navajo from Mariano Lake, New Mexico and selected from 140 entries.(more)


Navajo Tribal Seal
On January 18, 1852, the Navajo Nation council adopted the great seal, designed by John Claw, Jr. of Many Farms, Arizona. The 50 arrowheads outlining the seal symbolize the tribe's protection within the 50 states. The opening at the top of the three concentric lines is the east; the lines represent a rainbow and the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.(more)

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Local Governance

Local governance occurs through entities called “Chapters,” which are geographically subdivided populations of tribal members. Each of the Navajo Nation’s 110 chapters is centered near a population center.

The Local Governance Act enables tribal members to vote on local economic development issues, such as the granting of home and business site leases within the community. Though chapters have significant power in the community with planning and development, the ultimate authority legally remains in the hands of the Navajo Nation Council.

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