Henry "Chee" Dodge (1857-1947)


Unknown Unknown 1504-0837-0002.jpg IN-N-837 B&W 1504-0837-0002 po2496pb Digital Born 6x9 Historic Photographs 1940s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Henry "Chee" Dodge was born near Fort Defiance in northeastern Arizona.  As a youth, he worked as a translator for his uncle's trading post and eventually became the official Navajo interpreter for the U.S. Army.  In 1883, Henry became chief of the Navajo police and the following year was appointed "head chief" of the Navajo people.  He was elected the first chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council in 1923, an organization that he helped establish.  At that time, his leadership secured that 100% of the royalties from oil found on the reservation be awarded to the Navajo tribe. In 1942, Henry was re-elected as chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council.  During his tenure, he lobbied for improved educational opportunities for Najajo children and traveled to Washington to convince the Federal Government to secure more funding. A few years later, in 1946, he was elected vice-chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council.  Henry died on January 7, 1947 in Ganado, Arizona.


Websites - www.nativepartnership.org                         encyclopedia.com

Book - "For Our Navajo People: Dine Letters, Speeches, and Petitions, 1900-1960"  Peter Iverson and Monty Roessel, Editors


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