Dine (the people) is what the Navajo call themselves in their own language. Until 1969, non natives called these people ?Navaho,? but is now spelled Navajo. The Spanish borrowed the word Navahu meaning ?the valley in which there are fields.? The Navajo speak a language that belongs to the Athopaskan language group. Which most of Athopaskan languages are found in central Alaska and the inland areas of western Canada. At some point in history although it is unclear, the ancestors of the southern Athopaskan people, the Apache and the Navajo at one point migrated south out of the sub arctic region. It is believed that about 1,000 years ago these people followed the Rocky mountains south in small groups of hunters, gatherers, and fishermen.
During a confrontation between the Navajo and the United States troops on August 31, 1849 in the Chuska Mountains, Narbona Primero, a local Navajo leader was killed. After he was killed even the friendliest of Navajos were convinced that coexistence with whites would not come easy. In the fall of 1862, brigade General James Carleton arrived in Navajo country to prevent the territory from invading confederate troops.
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