The Navajo Nation, better known to locals as Dinétah is a nation located in the southwest of what was once the United States. Populated by primarily by the native Navajo people, the country also includes a large number of other southwestern Native Americans as well as a notable minority of White Americans. In the geographical sense, Dinetah is mainly based out of southeastern Utah but also controls large parts of northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and northeastern Arizona. The exact boundaries of this nation are unclear, and are generally marked by the different towns and landmarks under Navajo control.
The nation emerged from the carnage of Doomsday as one of the earliest-known largest surviving societies left in the United States. Although the Navajo nation has had to endure the harsh post-doomsday conditions for most of its existence the native lifestyle of the Navajo, as well as the stable tribal governments in the region, has made it remarkably adapt to survival. In recent years an alliance with the nearby Mormons in Utah has greatly straightened the nation, allowing for a greater exchange of resources, manpower, ideas, and goals between the survivor nations.
Doomsday and Aftermath
As the Nation was located in a fairly isolated area away from most major cities, the Navajo were at first lightly affected by the nuclear weapons that had detonated across America. This was not to last forever, however, as time went on it became apparent that conditions were worsening. Electricity had been going on and off since doomsday and had finally shut off completely. Gas supplies were quickly dwindling with no way to replenish them.
Acting quickly the tribal government ordered an emergency meeting to be held at Navajo Nation Council Chamber in Window Rock. Several other nearby tribes were invited to join as well. Inside they discussed how they should best handle the situation. At first it was agreed that a mass evacuation to the (said) safe haven of Mexico would take place. However lack of adequate equipment as well as increased radiation discovered in the south soon canceled these plans. Soon after it was decided that they would instead try the best they could to take cover and hunker down as far away from the southern fallout as possible.
As to be expected the radiation did kill an untold number of people, but far more survived than would normally been thought possible. Most of the fallout had blown south or east of the Navajo Nation. Furthermore the Navajo had been used to radiation poisoning given that uranium mining and nuclear weapons testing had taken place near Navajo lands before. The people knew or were told how to properly cover themselves and take appropriate shelter. After about a month nearly all fallout encountered had subsided or blown away. Overall, a large majority of people had survived the disaster.
After surviving the disaster no contact had been made with any remaining government officials left in the United States. Assuming them to either be dead or unable to help, the tribal government decided to take over and start recovery efforts. Using what little gas was left, a small recon mission was sent out to try to help any surviving communities nearby. Several Indian reservations were visited to the east, where radiation levels were still higher from the nuke that hit Albuquerque. These people were offered to come back with the recon party to live in the Navajo Nation; an offer which was kindly accepted by nearly all of them. Reports coming from the south and west indicated that most of the places here were either destroyed in the attacks, completely abandoned, or in a state of anarchy.
In the Navajo Nation widespread panic and discontent was beginning to show among the populous. Crime rates were quickly worsening, and riots were breaking out over lack of food and water. Acting quickly the Navajo Tribal Police was put into action and was instrumental in keeping the region in working order. Although food and water were rationed the sheep and cattle herding that existed here long before doomsday proved to be a valuable source of food. What cattle was lost from the fallout was soon made up for by the farming and fishing villages that had now been built along Lake Powell and the Colorado River for the refugees that had come to the Navajo Nation.
Birth of a New Nation
By 1988, things had finally started to stabilize. A reliable food source had been provided to the people so there were rarely any mandatory food rations, except for during droughts and such. The Navajo police, warrior bands, and a small army of volunteers were able to assure that any trouble that found its way into the now isolated Navajo lands would be properly dealt with. As people became less worried about survival, they became more worried about how the tribal government was acting without consent from the people. This was especially true among the non-Navajo who were beginning to feel under represented by the dominant Navajo culture.
Resentment was beginning to brew against the current system running the nation. Even those in the tribal government had doubts over how properly the Navajo Nation was run. Finally on June, 20, 1989 it was decided that a new nation would be founded. This new nation was to be named Dinétah after the traditional name for the Navajo homeland, and its capital was changed to the town that had sprung up near Rainbow Bridge Park on the shores of Lake Powell. Furthermore, the Navajo tribal government was to be weakened, and a new central government would take its place. The large minority of non Navajo would be allowed to form their own sovereign nations within this new country. By August of that year all of the details had been worked out and for the first time a native republic in the heartland of America was born.
As the years went on the people of Dinétah had begun to revert to their traditional lifestyles more than ever before. As nearly all forms of technology and electrical equipment had been rendered useless, the traditions and lifestyles passed on by their ancestors proved to be quite practical in everyday life. Weapons, clothing, and language that was once only seen or used for formal occasions and ceremonies had now become commonplace. Although health problems, unemployment and harsh weather patterns would continue to plague the nation for years to come, a stable democracy had emerged form the wreckage of nuclear war and seemingly secured survival for its people.
The Spokane War, 1990-1993
As the nation grew it began to encompass parts of southern Utah. Although this worried the Navajo at first it soon became a non-issue after it was learned that the people here were quite stable and non-violent. The two sides began to share information between each other as they learned about other surviving communities in the former U.S. They especially were worried about Spokane to the north. These fears would later prove to be justified as Spokane declared war on Utah.
At first the war was shifting in favor of Spokane who was able to attack deep into Utah territory. With most of its territory left in the south Utah begged Dinétah to help them. Although reluctant at first the Navajo would eventually join after hearing of the atrocities committed on captured Utah territory. Realizing they would be next if Utah fell, Dinétah sent numerous men and supplies to help fight in the war.
After a few months the war would shift against Spokane. Although they remained the superior fighting force, Utah and Dinétah had better logistics. Eventually Spokane would be worn down to the point of collapse and was captured by Utah forces. Soon after Spokane would have its independence abolished and be put under Utah control, something that remains a dispute for Spokane residents to this day. Either way the Navajo had helped secure victory in the war and had greatly strengthened its ties with Utah (or Deseret as it had begun to call itself).
After the war it was all but apparent that they two nations had formed an alliance with each other. Dinétah who was in bad need of gas and electricity turned to Utah for help. After months of dispute the government of Deseret agreed to this. In exchange Dinétah would be required to use part of its resources to help rebuild Utah and control of its military would be overseen by Deseret. While a few in the Navajo nation protested against turning themselves into a protectorate state, the move was generally well liked by the people of both countries.
A long standing territorial dispute was finally settled in 2003. The area between the states would be put under joint rule as the Navajo/Utah condominium lands. Here both nations laws would be respected and resources would be divided equally between the states. In recent years there had been little contact between the outside world and the Navajo Nation (except officially with Utah and unofficially with West Texas), although this has changed from 2008 on.
A recent diplomatic mission between Utah and the Municipal States of the Pacific has informed the outside world about Dinétahs existence. Diplomatic relations have since been established with West Texas, the MSP, Mexico, Superior, Vermont and the restored United States government of the North American Union.
A summit in Rainbow Bridge in January 2010 was held between the leaders of Dinetah, Utah and West Texas, forming the basis for a strengthen ties between the three nations. Dinetah and West Texas also agreed to jointly govern the territory of former New Mexico state not claimed by either country.
The current government of Dinétah is based on the tribal system of the Navajo tribe. Every four years someone is elected as tribal president. The powers of this person are minimal however as most power is concentrated on more regional powers. Each Indian tribe with significant numbers is given their own nation to rule over. The nations here maintain control over there own militias, laws, and cultural issues. Ultimately however, these are susceptible to the overwriting objections of the government in issues of national defense, foreign policy, and national law. Dinétah remains an informal protectorate of Utah, but otherwise maintains independence. The country also has partial control over the Navajo/Utah condominium lands. Here the native communities in the area are generally under Navajo law, but not the White/Mormon communities and towns. Laws passed by either country must be compatible with the other. Thus some law passed in Dinétah proper don't apply here. Resources gathered here must be evenly distributed between the two countries as well.
Talks of Unification with Utah
In March of 2009 talks were brokered with Tribal leaders to discuss a possible union of government between the Navajo Nation and Utah. Little has been released to the press other than this meeting has occurred. Some pundits have suggested that Deseret Governor-General Leavitt suspected Utah's isolation was drawing to a close, and that a strong front of regional government was needed to protect the interests of the survivors in the Intermountain West. However, since Dinetah has recently become a member state of the North American Union, some have suggested it will not happen. Other political pundits suggest that this may lead to a separate treaty of unity between the two states, since the treaty of the North American Union didn't preclude unification of sub-Union entities.
Demographics and Language
Most people living in Dinétah are of Navajo descent. However despite the fact that the country is commonly called the Navajo nation by outsiders this is a misnomer. Only part of the Nation is Navajo, although they make up most of the total population. The largest minority is the Hopi, whose nation has always been completely surrounded by Navajo lands. There are also large minorities of Apache and Puebloan peoples living here. Outside of the condominium lands there is only a small minority of whites; most of whom either have fled here from other lands or are Mormon communities under condominium with Utah.
Native languages have begun to displace English speakers by numbers thanks to language revitalization efforts by the government. This was also added by the decrease in number of people of no native origin who could speak no other language. Still English remains the Lingua franca language used for inter-cultural communication between the tribes or outsiders, especially with the Mormons of Utah. There remain very few people who are not fluent in the language.
The Dinétah Self-Defense Force is the national army used to protect the country. Formed primarily out of the former Navajo Tribal Police, it also includes several other militias formed after doomsday along with brand new units. The Defense Force uses a wide variety of different weapons from whatever source it can find them. These range from machine guns, to hunting rifles, to homemade bow and arrows. It also maintains use of several different off road vehicles, though a constant shortage of gas keeps these from being commonly used.
Given that the Navajo Nation is surrounded by miles of arid desert and its proximity to Mexico, there have been few incidents involving refugees escaping to Navajo land or raiding militias trying to take over. The Dinétah Self-Defense Force usually lacks the need for conscription, although all able-bodied male Dinétah residents are required to join if the nation enters a state of emergency. The Navajo Nation is also in a loose defense pact with Utah, as both nations are required to defend each other in times of war. Both countries maintain a high level of cooperation between each other, and freely share training, weapons, and tactics of their respective militaries.
Like all of the former United States, the economy of Dinétah is very weak with most economic activity directed at obtaining goods needed for survival. The biggest economic sectors in the nation are sheep and cattle herding, farming, and fishing. Other sectors such weaving, jewelry making, and art trading are done here as well, although demand for these remain quite small.
So far Utah is Dinétah's sole economic partner. The Navajo Nation usually exports food supplies to Utah, while it imports most of its technology and machinery from there as well. The U.S dollar is still used as currency, but given the environment in which the nation survives in bartering for goods is just as common as using money. Recently new economic sectors are starting to be exploited such as fiber production and electricity generation. However these new industries are still in their infancy, and have yet to gain widespread use.
Because of Utah's efforts in soil conservation due to the increased monsoon rains, a trading and farming partnership has increased between the two nations in an effort to turn the once barren southwest into viable farmland.
As the domestic situation stabilized, and Dinetah established a school system for its children and teenagers, the schools were invited to compete against their counterparts from Utah. In recent years Dinetah high schools have played in tournaments against schools from Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
Amateur American football, basketball, and association football leagues abound, and Dinetah leaders established the Dinetah Football (Soccer) Association in 2009 with the goal of joining FIFA and participating in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.