The Dine people are a cultural presence, we are defined by our historical identity, social kinship, language, and traditional values all maintained within the boundaries of the Four Sacred Mountains. A well defined geographical and spiritual boundary we call Dine Beke'yah (Navajo Nation). Agriculture and livestock have always been key to the evolution of Navajo society, economy, and in our development as a sovereign Nation.
Livestock ownership and agriculture are timeless symbols of resourcefulness, prosperity and social status. These are gifts bestowed by Holy Ones and are central to Dine philosophy of Nizhonigo 'lina (beauty way of life). The adherence to this philosophy, identity and cultural uniqueness is maintained among the Dine people, and is recognized as the core foundation of our sovereignty.
The Navajo Nation is one of the largest federally recognized Indian tribes in North America. The Navajo Indian Reservation covers an area that extends into the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, an estimated land base of 25,351 square miles or roughly the size of West Virginia. There are currently, 253,124 enrolled tribal members with 168,000 individuals, who currently reside on the Navajo Nation. It is estimated that eighty-two percent (82%) of the total population speak the Navajo language, and still practice the traditional Navajo lifestyle.
The socio-economic conditions on the Navajo Nation are highlighted by limited employment opportunities; the current unemployment rate is 48.5 percent, and average household income is $8,240, well below the federal poverty guidelines. These factors indicate a need for implementation of agricultural programs, policies, regulations, and conservation programs to revitalize our rural economy for self-sufficiency.
“Attain sustainability of Land, People, Water and Agricultural resources through conservation, protection and preservation.”
Provide guidance the Dine people in the stewardship of Mother Earth by providing leadership, knowledge and technological assistance in the management and conservation of her resources, for the inheritance of generations to come.
The Navajo Department of Agriculture (NNDA) is established under the Division of National Resources within Executive Branch of the Navajo Nation. Today, the Nation Department of Agriculture is the lead agency in planning, coordination, and management of all programs, policies and regulatory provisions designed to protect and preserve Navajo rangelands, livestock and agricultural resources.
NNDA strives in the redevelopment of a viable rural economy for the Dine people, focused on livestock ownership, commercial and subsistence farming enterprises. Establish efficient range management programs and practices; consistent with the principles and established guidelines for conservation of soil and water resources.
NNDA provides technical assistance and educational outreach to Navajo ranchers, farmers and communities on various livestock and agricultural issues. The department facilitates and fosters coalitions among county, state and federal agencies to assist Navajo communities with their agricultural and livestock needs.
Finally, NNDA provides administrative, guidance and support services to District Grazing Committees, Farm Boards and Eastern Land Boards Members, with emphasis on regulatory oversight in accordance to the specified provisions of Title III of the Navajo Nation Code.
P.O. BOX 4889
WINDOW ROCK, AZ
Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture