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  • Who: Navaho Indians

  • What: Largest Indian reservation in the United States - current

  • Where: United States

The Navaho Indians' principal reservation, situated in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico, is the largest Indian reservation in the United States covering some ten million acres or approximately 15,000 square miles—which is as large as the total area of the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, combined.

The Navaho Indians (the “Dine,” or “Navaho People,” in their native language), indigenous to the American Southwest, comprise the largest Native American tribe in the United States today. The U.S. Census estimated in 2004 (the 2010 Census figures are not yet available) that the legendary tribe’s population is 269,202 ( the number climbs to 298,197 if all people of Navaho descent, including tribe members of mixed ancestry, is taken into account). The Navaho also played a major part in World War II as so-called “codetalkers,” in which they used their language to relay secret messages in the Pacific Theater. Theirs is an unwritten language and the grammar, tone, and syntax are so unique that it made for the perfect choice to transmit information without fear of the Japanese breaking the code.

 

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