Running for Bears Ears

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez joins both Navajo and Hopi youth on the first leg of the Three Sister’s Bears Ears Run.

Published December 28, 2017

TUBA CITY, ARIZONA – Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez invite and encourage all tribal members to join a group of youth runners for the Three Sister’s Bears Ears run that is currently underway.

“Our youth are our future,” President Begaye said. “What this run shows you is the drive they have to stand up for what they believe is right. They want a better future not only for themselves but for future generations. They are willing to make the sacrifice.”

On Tuesday, December 26, one of the young Navajo groups started off with a morning prayer to one of our four sacred mountains in Flagstaff. They asked for strength, safe travels, and encouragement, as they made their way to Tuba City where they met up with another group, made up of Hopi Youth.

Vice President Jonathan Nez joined both groups from Flagstaff and Hopi on the first day.

“I applaud our youth for putting this event together,” Vice President Nez said. “They are helping bring tribes together and raise awareness about these issues. President Begaye and I fully support their dedication.”

Today, the group will unite to symbolize solidarity and run 75 miles to Kayenta where they will camp out for the night. Their journey will continue on to Bluff, Utah. From Bluff, the group will end the run at Nizhoni Campground.

Upon arrival, they will be greeted by two roadmen. At sundown on Saturday, Dec. 30, the group will conduct a Native American Church (NAC) ceremony at the campground. Those NAC members who wish to participate in the ceremony are advised to bring proof of NAC membership.

The whole purpose of the run is to unify tribes in a tangible way, raise awareness and stand up for Bears Ears through prayer. On behalf of the runners and coordinators, the Office of the President and Vice President is asking for volunteers, donations and participation.

Items such as food, water, wood, first aid kits, tents, and monetary donations are appreciated. Support and encouragement throughout the run are highly encouraged as the group consists of young determined and driven youth leaders.

For more information please contact Dylan Delano at (928) 280-9903 or dylandelano91@yahoo.com; Lauren Howland at lauren@seedingsovereignty.org; Jackie Frank (928) 380-0341; Chantel Luna at (520) 336-2404; or Ernesto Burbank at (520) 250-9093.

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