Realty Executives of Flagstaff

Serving Flagstaff, Arizona since 1977

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Native Americans, Past and Present

(Published on - 5/7/2020 4:13:45 PM)

Native Americans have played very important roles in our county, past and present. Currently, Arizona is home to 22 Indian tribes. Arizona has the 3rd highest Native American population, with reservations taking up over a quarter of the total land area. The Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, Kalibab-Paiute, and Hualapai tribal lands alone cover 31,000 square miles of this region.

There are numerous ancient Indian ruins to explore around the Northern Arizona region, the most famous being Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon. Exploring these ancient cliff dwellings, along with Montezuma Castle are definite must-do’s for anyone interested in Native cultures or just looking to take in some fabulous views. If you are really interested in furthering your education, you can plan a visit to the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Check their calendar for the annual special exhibits for both the Navajo and Hopi nations. Various works of art are displayed, along with live demonstrations with some of these very skilled artisans.

And in the more recent past, the Navajo played a huge part in World War II. Have you ever heard of the Navajo Code Talkers? During World War II, the Marine Corps used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code. The Navajo language seemed to be the perfect option as a code because it is not written and very few people who aren’t of Navajo origin can speak it. During the course of the war, about 400 Navajos participated in the code talker program.

 

Code Talkers Code Platoon

The Navajo recruits began developing the code by taking words from their language and applying them to implements of war. For example, the names of different birds were used to stand for different kinds of planes.

The Navajo Code Talkers (who were actually comprised of Navajo, Comanches, Hopis, and others) were treated with the utmost respect by their fellow marines. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared August 14 as National Code Talkers Day. In 2000 President Bill Clinton signed a law which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the original 29 Code Talkers. President George W. Bush presented the medals to the four surviving Code Talkers at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington in July 2001.

Want to more more? Check out the Discover Navajo webpage, with links to Museums and more--or the authentic Navajo Code Talkers webpage, filled with photos and even more history!

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