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The land on which Fort Defiance was eventually established was first noted by the U. military when Colonel John Washington stopped there on his return journey from an expedition to Canyon de Chelly.

Fort Defiance was established on September 18, 1851, by Col. Sumner to create a military presence in Diné bikéyah (Navajo territory).

1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 1870, the first government school for the Navajo was established there.

Today, the site of Fort Defiance is populated by buildings dating from the 1930s to the present day used by various governmental agencies including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, and the Navajo Nation.

The largest of these buildings was the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital until 2002.

Fort Defiance is located at The population density was 669.3 people per square mile (258.3/km²).


Continued Navajo raids in the area led Brigadier General James H. General Carleton's "solution" was brutal: thousands of starving Navajo were forced on a Long Walk of 450 miles (720 km) and 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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