Navajo Nation land surrounds the monument's cliff dwellings. The boundaries of the Navajo (Din'e) homeland are four sacred mountains: Blanca Peak, Mount Taylor, the San Francisco Peaks, and the La Plata Mountains.
The Din'e moved into this area around 1800, and changed from hunting and gathering when the Spanish introduced domesticated animals. Sheepherding became central to their lives. The Din'e have a long tradition of using the area around Navajo National Monument for both sacred and economic purposes.