Becenti Chapter

Our Story

Becenti Chapter is located in Land Management District 15 of the Eastern Navajo Agency in north central part of McKinley County, New Mexico. The Chapter House is 10 miles north of the community of Crownpoint and .5 miles west of New Mexico State Highway 371 (Veterans Memorial Highway). The chapter land base is in the “checkerboard area”, that includes Indian Allotment, Tribal Trust, Fee Lands, Private, Public Domain and BLM Lands.

The land characteristics can be described as rolling hills, sandstone mesas, and sandy washes. Chaco Wash of the eastern edge of the chapter land drains to the north into the San Juan Basin. Mesa tops gently slope with sides having been carved by precipitation and wind erosion. Elevations range from 6,169 to 6,354 feet above sea level.

The Navajo Tribal Council certified Becenti Chapter on February 15, 1955. According to the local people, the chapter is known by two names: Tloo’di’tsin, meaning “barren of trees” and Jadi hadi t’iih’ meaning “Antelope Lookout”. These names are representative of life in past, and conditions of the area. Since the names were hard to pronounce by Non-Navajos, the chapter was named simply “Becenti” after Chief Becenti, the first documented leader of the community.

In the past, the land was once densely covered with pinon and juniper, which were eventually depleted due to demand for shelter and firewood. The probable abundance of trees is suggested by two names: Tsin neez Chooz and Tsin yaa naalk’d. Many types of wild animals used to roam the area, notably antelope. Antelope were rounded up and chased off a cliff at Jadi hadi t’iih, disabling them or instantly killing them. They were used for food and clothing. Jadi hadi t’iih is located two miles south of the chapter house. The mesa also has scenic qualities.The chapter became a viable entity during the 1920’s and 30’s. A census survey was taken in 1928 at Mohalland Well; an artesian spring located about seven miles west of the current chapter house. Chief Becenti, Robert Bob Perry and John Perry, Sr. were the first elected official to represent local concerns. Although meetings were conducted at different places, it was not until 1939 that a chapter house was built to accommodate gatherings at one fixed location.

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Chapter Officials 

Charles Long, President

Pauleen Billie, Vice-President

Kathleen Lee, Secretary/Treasurer

Mark Freeland, Council Delegate

Janice Padilla, Land Board Member

 

Chapter Administration

Delores Becenti, CSC

Vacant, AMS

Operating Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Closed for Lunch

Closed during Holidays