Chinle, AZ: From Past to Present

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The abuse attorneys in Chinle bring you the following article on the area. We encourage residents and visitors to learn about the history of Chinle and its surrounding areas.

History of Chinle

Chinle is a census-designated place (CDP) within Apache County, Arizona. The name means "flowing out" in Navajo and is in reference to where the water flows out of the Canyon de Chelly. During the Spanish colonial period, it was a base for war and trade. After the United States acquired the area following the Mexican-American War, relations between those living in the area began to deteriorate. A peace conference had to be conducted with representative Kit Carson and the Navajo people to end the war between the U.S. and the Navajo Native Americans. By 1882, the first trading post was established. In 1885, a full-sized camp was developed. The area was named "Chin Lee," but its spelling was changed to Chinle on April 1, 1941.

In the 1950s, the area's population was ethnically diverse. A number of Najavo Native Americans, non-Navajo Native Americans, Anglo whites and African Americans lived in separate parts of Chinle. During this time, the community also had an issue with stray dogs. On April 8, 1956, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) rounded up these dogs and shot them. The community received no warning, and many of the dead dogs were left on residence doorsteps. On September 23rd of the same year, another round of shooting was ordered. When the community protested, the General Superintendent of the Navajo Agency, G. Warren Spaulding, didn't listen. After the second round of shootings occurred, a gas chamber was then installed to euthanize these unclaimed dogs.

As of the 2010 census, Chinle has a population of 4,518 people and a total area of 16.1 square miles. It is the gateway community for the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

You can also a Look Into Eagar, Arizona.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Established in 1931, the Canyon de Chelly National Monument was founded to preserve the archaeological sites and ancient indigenous history in the area. Unique among the National Park Service units, it is located completely on Navajo tribal land and has a residential community of 40 Navajo families within it. The monument is the only unit that isn't federally owned. Instead, it is owned and managed by the Navajo Tribal Trust of the Navajo Nation.

The monument encompasses 83,840 acres of land and includes the major canyons of de Chelly, del Muerto and Monument. Visitors can only enter the canyons if they are accompanied by a park ranger or authorized Navajo guide. Horseback riding, hiking and four-wheel driving through the canyons are offered by private Navajo-owned companies for a price, although entrance to the park itself is free. Visitors of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument can view the ancient ruins and geological structures from a distance. The only part of the park that you can freely come and go in is the White House Ruin Trail. On August 25, 1970, the National Monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

DCI Shopping Center

Just before the entrance to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument is the DCI Shopping Center near the junction of U.S. Route 191 and Indian Route 7. The shopping plaza is where residents and visitors go to for the essentials they might need. Some of the businesses that occupy it are:

  • Navajo Westerners Ace Hdw
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • United States Postal Service
  • Bashas' Diné

The shopping center also features a Burger King and Pizza Ridge - Chinle for visitors to fuel up before their excursion into the national park.

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Contact our Chinle priest abuse lawyers if you or someone you know were victimized by a priest. We can assist you in getting the justice you rightfully deserve. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.

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