The Navajos lived in Arizona and New Mexico. The Spanish made contact with the Navajos in 1540. However, it was another 60 years before the Spanish made attempts to convert them to Christianity.

In the 17th century the Navajos were the most powerful tribe in the region. After acquiring horses from the Spanish they carried out raids on Pueblo villages.

In 1848 the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe de Hidalgo. This territory now became part of the United States. The Navajos were opposed to this move and began made attacks on American settlers. In 1863 Kit Carson was ordered to confine the Navajos to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in New Mexico. The Navajos resisted this move and Carson responded by killing their cattle and destroying their crops. Starved into submission 8,000 members of the tribe were eventually placed on the reservation.