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Navajo Nation signs land swap deal with New Mexico

November 8, 2017

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has signed a deal that swaps more than 37,000 acres of New Mexico trust land for a ranch owned by the tribe.

The state trust properties are in northwestern New Mexico where Navajos are living, surrounding Navajo trust lands and adjacent to the reservation.

Navajo Nation spokesman Mihio Manus said Tuesday the tribe eventually will seek to have the acreage added to the formal reservation.

The state will get the tribe’s Slash Ranch in southern New Mexico in the exchange.

State and tribal officials began talking about a land swap when the tribe learned Navajo families unknowingly were burying family members in a cemetery on state trust land near Gallup.

At one point, the tribe says the state fined funeral homes for conducting services there.

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