Other Nearby Communities;
Teec Nos Pos
Other Nearby Attractions;
Anasazi Heritage Center
Canyons of the Ancients
Canyon de Chelley
Earth Class Mail
American Indian Art
Fort Defiance is located at the mouth of Canyon Bonito about 7 miles north of Window Rock, Arizona. Fort Defiance contains a school system first started in 1870 and the Fort Defiance Medical Center first established in 1938.
Fort Defiance was Built in 1851 to create a military presence in Diné bikéyah (Navaho territory). The fort was built on land where the Navajo had historically grazed their sheep. The federal government then prohibited the Navajo from using this land for that purpose and, as a result, the appropriately named fort experienced intense fighting, and in1860, an attack on the fort by the Navajo was unsuccessful. But, by the next year, at the onset of the Civil War, the army abandoned Fort Defiance. Continued Navajo raids in the area led the army to send Kit Carson to impose order. Kit Carson forced thousands of starving Navajo to march many miles to be interned near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and much of their livestock was destroyed. The Navajo Treaty of 1868 allowed those interned to return to a portion of their land, and Fort Defiance was reestablished as an Indian agency that year.
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Fort Defiance, New Mexico (now Arizona) by Seth Eastman (1808 - 1875), painted 1873
is the Navajo Name for Ft. Defiance.
Ft. Defiance is in ApacheCounty and is at an elevation of 6,836 feet. The population is 4,061