2024—2029 Navajo Nation Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

March 6, 2024


The DED will submit the CEDS to the U.S. Economic Development Administration to fulfill its requirement to become eligible to apply for federal/state grant funding for regional economic development projects on Navajo.

This report serves as a snapshot of the Navajo Nation’s current economic status and highlights areas of opportunity. The Nation is in a position to approach new and creative solutions to help rebuild its economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, “many of our entrepreneurs, businesses located on the Navajo Nation, community leaders, and decision-makers depend on this informative regional planning document to ensure proper placement and allocation of our resources toward economic development projects that create positive changes for our Navajo communities,” states Division Director Tony Skrelunas

Key Takeaways

Total Enrolled Tribal Members
Tribal Members within Navajo Nation Boundaries
Tribal Members Less than 30 Years Old
The Navajo Nation has a large youth and young adult population. Education and training in growth industries could ensure a dedicated pool of employees to draw upon for decades.

Top Employment Industries on the Navajo Nation

  • 1 Utilities
  • 2 Healthcare
  • 3 Arts
  • 4 Entertainment
  • 5 Recreation

Opportunities for Industry Growth

  • 1 Manufacturing
  • 2 Wholesale/Retail Trade
  • 3 Transportation
  • 4 Finance
  • 5 Professional Services
  • 6 Food Services

DED Priorities to Address Socioeconomic Disparities

  • 1 Tourism
  • 2 Employment
  • 3 Small Business & Entrepreneurs
  • 4 Industrial Development & Manufacturing
  • 5 Commercial Development & Retail
  • 6 Laws & Policies
  • 7 Infrastructure
  • 8 Data-based Decisions
  • 9 Small Business Funding & Financing

Navajo Nation Economic Growth Centers

  • Chinle Chapter
  • Crownpoint (T'iis ts'ooz nideeshgiizh) Chapter
  • Ft. Defiance (Tse hootsooi) Chapter
  • Kayenta (Toh' Di'neesh zhee) Chapter
  • Shiprock (Tse' bi t'ai) Chapter
  • St. Michaels (Ch'ihootsooi) Chapter
  • Tuba City (Tonaneesdizi) Chapter
  • Window Rock (Tségháhoodzání) NOT A CHAPTER

Additional Comments

The DED and FWDG utilized publicly available data to complete this CEDS. However, the DED is moving toward establishing new data collection, management, and reporting mechanisms to expand capacities to analyze more accurate data to support positive and impactful changes on the Navajo Nation.

The knowledge and experience of the Navajo business community and the expertise of the DED staff contributed to the information in this report. Ahéhee’.

The DED would also like to thank Fourth World Design Group for working on this project. FWDG is a Navajo-women-owned Priority-1 business. Ahéhee’.

Navajo Division of Economic Development