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Ganado, Arizona

There is a noticeably soft and tender feeling that one experiences as you visit with the residents of Ganado. That feeling sits in sharp contrast to the harsh and demanding landscape that weaves its way in and around our community. The combination of those contrasts pulls at your heart as you view the quiet determination of our residents to build our homes, raise our families and revere our past. If one were to choose a word to describe the unique spirit of Ganado it would be respect. Tradition is honored, protocol followed and courtesy extended to all.

The Ganado community has a rich Navajo history of commerce, agriculture, education, service to country, negotiation, art, compassion and perseverance. Those qualities are reflected in the face of one of our oldest residents. Her sparkling dark eyes reflect the reciprocal love of her people, her own love of life and the honor she gives our ancestors as she boasts of living in the very spot where her mother buried her umbilical cord in the time-honored, traditional Navajo way, over 80 years ago. Her under 5 foot, small-frame is another contrast to the tremendous energy that bubbles out of her in warm, mischievous smiles, giggles with her friends and her ardent defense of what’s right and “how things should be done.”

Ganado has been an economic center for the Navajo people since 1871, when the first trading post was established. It is strategically located at the crossroads of State Highways 191 and 264. In the heart of Ganado is the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. This trading post has been central to the livelihood of Navajo artisans and entrepreneurs for well over a century. Navajo tradition is revered in Ganado with strong community and family ties, dedicated senior services, healthcare, veteran services and a commitment to education.

Highways 191 and 264 are the main arteries through the Navajo Nation. This provides tremendous opportunities for expanding services for tourists and local residents. The awe-inspiring walls of Canyon de Chelly are located north on highway 191. Highway 264 runs east and west through the Navajo and Hopi tribal lands. The Hubbell Trading Post NHS is already a popular destination spot for those interested in Navajo history, culture and art. These conditions provide fertile ground for economic strategies related to tourism and business recruitment.

It is the foundation of respect and sense of community that has prepared us to step forward into our future. There is a well of experience and knowledge waiting to be tapped in our residents and community volunteers that will facilitate a new era of economic growth and prosperity for the community of Ganado.

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