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In both the 19 census, Arizona and New Mexico ranked third and fourth, respectively, for the largest number of Native American residents within each state.
The contemporary government of the Navajos is the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona.
The Navajo reservation, as created by treaty in 1868, encompassed only about ten percent of the ancestral Navajo homeland.
The land base soon tripled in size, largely by the addition of large blocks of land by executive orders of presidents of the United States during the late nineteenth century, when Americans still considered most of the desert Southwest to be undesirable land.
When the United States claimed that it had acquired an interest in Navajo land by virtue of having won a war with Mexico in 1848, the Navajos were not particularly impressed. In the army's scorched-earth campaign, led by Colonel Kit Carson, the Navajo homeland was devastated.The Navajo Nation covers a territory larger than the combined states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.It is the largest reservation-based Indian nation within the United States, both in land area and population.The Navajo Nation comprises approximately 16 million acres, mostly in northeastern Arizona, but including portions of northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.It is a land of vast spaces and only a few all-weather roads.