Maricopa Community Colleges  AIS110   20042-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 2-24-2004

AIS110 2004 Spring 2006 Summer II

LEC 3.0 Credit(s) 3.0 Period(s) 3.0 Load Acad

Navajo Government

Addresses and examines major historical developments of the Navajo People with a focus on government, law, society, livelihood, tradition, and culture. Includes the major components and operation of Navajo government and related tribal laws, such as Title II and Title VII of the Navajo Nation Code, as well as the significance of the Treaty of 1868. Federal Indian policies and their impact on Navajo society and government, the importance of federal and tribal citizenship and related federal and tribal laws, and the role of the Navajo clanship system and other relevant cultural concepts addressed.

Prerequisites: None.

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


AIS110 2004 Spring 2006 Summer II

Navajo Government



Describe the foundations of Navajo government and culture. (I)


Describe the cultural origins of the Navajo. (II)


Compare and contrast the traditional and contemporary forms of Navajo government. (III)


Describe and analyze the rationale of the establishment of treaty governments and the employment of Indian agents. (IV)


Identify and describe the foundations and principles of Navajo government. (V)


Describe and examine the role of title II Amendments of the Navajo government from 1989 to the present. (VI)


Describe and analyze the role of the legislative branch of the Navajo government. (VII)


Describe and analyze the role of the executive branch of the Navajo government. (VIII)


Describe and analyze the role of the judicial branch of the Navajo government. (IX)


Describe and analyze the role of the Local Governance Act. (X)


Describe and analyze the rights and responsibilities of the Dine People. (XI)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


AIS110 2004 Spring 2006 Summer II

Navajo Government


I. Governance and Cultural Foundations

A. Values, norms, and identity

B. Navajo common law

C. Sovereignty, federal overview, and three Cherokee cases

II. Cultural Origins

A. Hajn' and the Sacred Mountains

B. Clans and K' relationship

III. Traditional and Contemporary Governmental Forms

A. Traditional leadership

1. Godiitsoh, Nabinil'hi, and Narbona

2. Naachid

3. Peace chiefs and war chiefs

4. Iroquois Confederate government

B. Selection of leaders

1. Consensus

2. Native democracy

C. Forms of government/democracy

1. Naat'anii system

2. Don Carlos, Largo, Narbona, and Manuelito

D. Events leading to the Hwldi and its effects on the Navajos

E. American government system

IV. Treaty Governments and Agents

A. Treaties

1. Spanish

2. Mexican

3. American

4. Ratified

B. "The Long Walk"

1. Ten village chiefs at Fort Sumner

2. American attempts of political organization

C. Trust relationship

D. Naaltsoos Sn

1. Treaty of 1868

2. Treaty signers

a. Manuelito

b. Barboncito

c. Ganado Mucho

d. Others

E. Relevancy of articles of the treaty

F. Indian agents (1860-1922)

1. Control and sway over Native People

2. Indian Agent Shelton

G. Navajo leaders opposition to American government system

1. Blackhorse and Baallii

2. Manuelito Son Dies

H. Ward Plan - police force

I. Witch Purge of 1879 - Indian justice

V. Foundation and Principles of Navajo Government

A. Tribal authority (1921-1922)

1. Oil struck, San Juan Basin, New Mexico (1921)

2. Organization of business council (1922)

B. Navajo tribal councils

1. 19221989

2. 1923

C. Law enforcement - police organization

1. 12 to 24 member structure

2. Qualifications

D. H. Chee Dodge, major contributor and first chair

1. Chapter House System (1927)

2. Recognized Council (1938)

E. Persistence of Naat'anii system

F. World War II time period

1. Development of modern Navajo society

2. Influence of people wanting to change government

3. Influence of "founding" fathers

4. Phasing out of traditional system

G. Modern chairmanships

1. Peter MacDonald

2. Peterson Zah

a. Elections

b. Administrations

H. Before 1985

1. One branch government

2. Separate judicial branch

VI. Title II Amendments (1989-Present)

A. Three branch government

B. Navajo constitutions

VII. Legislative Branch

A. Definition

1. The Council

2. Committees

B. Transformation of resolutions to law

1. Influencing factors

2. Reapportionment - "One Navajo - One Vote"

C. Legislative process

1. Powers of Tribal Council

2. Powers denied

VIII. Executive Branch

A. Definition

1. Presidential powers

2. Organization

B. Presidential election process

1. Presidential duties and roles

2. Checks and balances

3. Presidential succession

C. Executive bureaucracy

1. Independent agencies

2. Development of Navajo Nation policy

IX. Judicial Branch

A. Navajo Nation Courts

1. Historical background

2. Supreme Court and Trial Court organization

3. Responsibilities

4. Appointment of justices

5. Judicial review

B. Affecting cases

1. U.S. Supreme Court

2. Navajo Supreme Court

C. Navajo Peacemaker Court

D. Criminal and civil law

E. Navajo common law vs. statutory law

1. Federal law

2. Adversary system

3. Original vs. appellate jurisdiction

F. Judicial restraint vs. judicial activism and adaptability

X. Local Governance Act

A. Types of local governments

B. Government reform

XI. Dine People

A. Rights

B. Responsibilities


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