Wide Ruins Community School is located in the Southeastern part of the Navajo Indian Reservation. On the geographical map, Wide Ruins, Arizona is located at the coordinates of 35.418590 latitude and -109.496520 longitude. Our school is located 19 miles north from I-40 Chambers Exit 333 and 23 miles south of Ganado, 60 miles southwest of Gallup, New Mexico.
Wide Ruins is very rich in history and has been represented by many famous Diné People from the Wide Ruins Community area such as Dr. Annie Wauneka, the Navajo Tribe’s first woman Council Delegate. She was the prestigious recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to health care services.
The Wide Ruins Trading Post was established in 1885 at the site of a large prehistoric settlement called Kin Teel’, meaning “wide house”. The only Kin Teel remaining is the ancient one underlying the wind-blown red sand. By 1950, operating conditions were changing for traders on the Indian reservations and in that year the Lippincot Family who operated the Trading Post sold the Wide Ruins Trading Post to the Navajo Tribe. In 1986, the historic Wide Ruins Trading Post was lost in a fire. The community has since been forced to shop elsewhere – Gallup, New Mexico, Holbrook, Arizona.
The community is in a spectacular scenic area. Antelope Lake is 14 miles to the northeast which offers good fishing and camping. There are numerous hiking places in the area to view the land. The community has celebrated their traditions with their own special Navajo rug. Rugs from the Wide Ruins area copy the design and coloring of the Chinle rugs, but tend to be more intricate with more colors. Somewhat unique to these rugs are a design feature of
alternating weft colors (one color alternating with another color). Local rug weavers have made the Wide Ruins Style Rug very famous.
Today, Wide Ruins has a local Chapter House which represents and assists the local community with Tribal services. Wide Ruins Community School also hosts and serves the community with a Volunteer Fire Department. The Wide Ruins Mennonite Mission provides assistance to the local people during times of need.
Wide Ruins Community School was founded in 1930 and expanded in 1963. The School has since come a long way from a school having one teacher with an assistant, and a bus driver, to a Bureau of Indian Affairs school, to currently Tribal Grant School. The school has a student population of 112 students from Kindergarten through 6th grade. There are 45 students residing in the Residential Dorm. There are 42 staff members consisting of administration, teaching staff, residential, kitchen, transportation, and facility. Wide Ruins Community School consists of six instructional buildings, a cafeteria, a residential dorm, an administration building, transportation, and facility office. The school serves students from Lupton, Houck, Sanders, New Lands, Wide Ruins, and Klagetoh each year.