National | Politics

Navajo Nation Council rejects bill to change tribe's name to 'Dine Nation'






The Navajo Code Talker Memorial in Window Rock, Arizona. Photo: Ron Cogswell

The Navajo Nation will remain the Navajo Nation for the foreseeable future.

Delegates on the Navajo Nation Council defeated a bill that would have changed the tribe's name to the "Dine Nation." Opponents said Legislation No. 0395-16 would only confuse tribal citizens and outsiders.

“We should be discussing more important things on the council floor today, such as the obstacles and the needs of the Navajo people,” Delegate Leonard Tsosie said during debate on Tuesday, according to a press release from the tribe's legislative body.

Both others supported the change because it would adopt the word the Dine people use to describe themselves in their own language. Delegate Davis Filfred pointed out that "Navajo" is not a Dine word.

“The term is not apart of our traditional language," Filfred said. "The Spaniards and the federal government gave us that identity as ‘Navajo.'"

The tribe has been known as the "Navajo Nation" since 1969, according to Wikipedia. Prior to that, the tribe was described as the "Navajo Tribe of Indians" in an 1868 treaty with the United States.