Canyon de Chelly
Administrative History
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The need for an administrative history of Canyon de Chelly National Monument has been recognized for several years. As early as Meredith Guillet's first incumbency as superintendent in the 1940s, if not before, sporadic work was done to compile materials that could be used for this purpose. The unique character of this monument, which remains in the ownership of the Navajo Nation while park matters are administered by the National Park Service, has created an interrelated series of problems that have arisen as the canyon residents and the Park Service personnel work to adapt to each other's presence and to the ever-increasing stream of visitors attracted by the archeology, Indians, and exceptional scenery. The story of Navajo-Park Service relations forms a unifying theme for all the diverse events that have influenced the development of the area as a national monument.

This study originated in a new Park Service master-plan project that will attempt to gather and evaluate the viewpoints of all the peoples and agencies interested in the area. Active research did not begin until June 1974 when the senior author was able to spend 3 weeks searching for source materials in the National Archives. Further work was not possible until late summer when the junior author was employed to assist with the research and writing. Sources were scattered in several depositories and offices. The requirements of other duties limited to some degree the thoroughness with which various collections could be researched, and this work should not be considered definitive. Several of the questions raised herein may be resolved by further work in collections already utilized. The following list indicates abbreviations used in the text citations and reveals to some extent the amount of attention we were able to give the various collections.

Collection Abbreviation Utilized
Southwestern National Monuments
Monthly Reports, Arizona
Archeological Center,
Tucson, Arizona
National Archives, Record Group 75,
Office of Indian Affairs,
Washington, D.C.
NA, RG 75, OIApartially
National Archives, Record Croup 79,
NPS, National Monuments,
Canyon de Chelly,
Washington, D.C.
NA, RG 79, NPS C de Cfully
Canyon de Chelly National Monument files,
Chinle, Arizona
C de Cpartially
Denver Federal Records Center, NPS,
Canyon de Chelly,
Denver, Colorado
Arlington Federal Records Center,
NPS, Canyon de Chelly,
Arlington, Virginia
National Archives, Record Group 48,
Department of The Interior,
Washington, D.C.
NA, RG 48, IDslightly
Fort Defiance Letterbooks,
extract copies at Navajo Tribal
Research Section (originals in
Bell Federal Records Center,
Bell, California).
Historical Files, Hubbell Trading Post
National Historic Site,
Ganado, Arizona
Vivian Archives, Chaco Center, NPS,
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Denver Service Center, files,
Denver, Colorado

Our data come primarily from the above sources. Scattered odds and ends were available in published form and a number of individuals were willing to assist us with information in short interviews. These include Dr. Edward B. Danson of the Museum of Northern Arizona; Dr. David L. De Harport of Denver, Colorado; Dr. Stephen C. Jett of the University of California at Davis; Robert W. Young of the University of New Mexico; Martin A. Link, Navajo Tribal Museum; Verner Mayes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Dilkon, Arizona; George W. Miller and Charlie R. Steen of Santa Fe; and Sam Day III of the Navajo tribe. In addition, John A. Aubuchon, Meredith Guillet, Ora Jo Puckett, William G. Binnewies, Chauncey Neboyia, Robert L. Morris, Clarence Gorman, and Herbert Yazhe—all of whom are current or former Park Service employees at Canyon de Chelly—deserve special consideration.

Several Navajo residents of the area talked with the senior author, and though they added little in the way of specific data, they enabled us to gain a much better insight into their problems.

Many people supplied information through correspondence at our request, sometimes at the expense of considerable time and effort. Special recognition for assistance of this sort should go to Ora Jo Puckett, whose familiarity with the Canyon de Chelly files made our work much easier. Others deserving special mention are Carol Holleuffer, Dr. Mary Shepardson, Dr. Charlotte J. Frisbie, Marcella Sherfy, Gay Ann Mayes, and James T. Rock.

For aid in finding materials in various collections we are indebted to J. Lee Correll of the Navajo Tribal Research Section, Judy R. Reis of the Arizona Archeological Center, Maria Joy and others at the National Archives, and Linda Cochran at the Federal Records Center in Denver.

All of the people at the Chaco Center, where we did most of the compilation of data, should be mentioned for their favors great and small, from those who merely shared their space with us to Dorothy Cassidy, Alden C. Hayes, Natalie Patterson, Thomas Mathews, Delmar Petterson, and Dr. Robert C. Lister, who helped with many kinds of problems. Special commendation is extended to Dr. Richard N. Ellis of the History Department at the University of New Mexico for recommending the junior author to assist in this project.

The manuscript has been critically read by Charles Voll, Bill Jones, Linda Greene, and William Germeraad, all of whom offered valuable suggestions. The authors take full responsibility, however, for all interpretation and errors. Final typing of the manuscript was done by Barbara Hudson. Last, but not least, special thanks go to Bill Jones of the Denver Service Center, who, as head of the current master plan team, has made it all possible.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1974

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Last Updated: 08-Mar-2004