What appears to be a matter of a simple boundary dispute between two Native American Indian tribes; the Navajo and Hopi, is more likely to be a subtle example of the United States' previous expulsion and extermination policy of its aboriginal peoples. Though unlike the past, where such actions were more open and accepted public policy; such as "The Trail of Tears,"" and "The Long Walk,"" the current situation is masked behind federally instituted accommodating tribal governments, legal shell games and greedy industrial exploitation of native natural resources.
The intention of this paper, is to examine the history of what has led both tribes to the point of the current territorial dispute ; who are all the participants, what are the sociological, geographical and political problems resulting from this situation. Finally, what are some possible solutions?.
Long before the arrival of any pioneers from the United States, prior to the rancheros of Mexico, previous to the conquistadors searching for El Dorado, long ahead of the pastoral Diné and even ahead of the horticultural Hopi, were the Anasazi. Archeological estimates begin to place the Anasazi's presence in the American Southwest about 500 BCE. The Anasazi are important at this point, to establish the fact that all the other peoples in the region appeared subsequently. Any predecessors to the Anasazi territory are unknown to history; making all subsequent comers intruders onto someone else's home turf. .
The Hopi, among other tribes, claim descendancy from the Anasazi. Their pueblo on the Black Mesa, located at Oraibi, Arizona, is one of the two oldest continuously occupied settlements north of Mexico on the North American continent. Hopi villages were built on top of defensible mesas. Their homes were made of stone and plastered with mud; resembling modern apartments. The flat lands below, at the base of the mesas were where the corn, melons, tobacco, beans and other food was grown.