Navajo Yes works to promote community wellness, lifelong fitness and youth empowerment in communities across Dine’ Bikeyah.
They began offering outdoor adventures for youth in the Shonto community in 1988 and incorporated with the IRS and Navajo Nation in 1994 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Navajo Yes community outreach and education efforts reach thousands of youth and families every year. The Sacred People Foundation is proud to be one of the supporters of Navajo YES!
Shiprock and Monument Valley Kids Marathons
These two runs, which took place alongside their respective grownup marathon runs, had 550 youth participants (400 Shiprock and 150 Monument Valley), 3 to 13 years of age, and were free to all participants. The Kids Marathons were coordinated with local schools and parents in surrounding communities. Presentations were made at each school, running logs and registration forms were distributed, and all forms were returned to a volunteer NavajoYES coordinator for event setup. The rules were that a child had to run a total of 25 miles over several weeks (recorded and signed off by parents on their running logs. Then the day of the marathon, the children ran the final 1.2 miles to give them each the equivalent of an entire marathon mileage. Each child participating received a free t-shirt, race bag, and finisher's medal..
Bikes for Kids Program
In 2016, three trips from Navajoland to Phoenix, AZ were made to pick up a total of 300 bicycles donated by the Recycle Your Bicycle organization in Phoenix. These bikes were refurbished by a crew of volunteers and handed out to families in several communities in exchange for volunteer community service. Travel expenses, spare parts, and related expenses were covered.
Backpack Trips to Grand Canyon and Rainbow Bridge
Backpack Trips to Grand Canyon (July) and Rainbow Bridge (May). These hikes involved older, at-risk youth of high school age. The Grand Canyon hike was a rim-to-rim multi-day trip, facing extremely hot desert conditions. Rainbow Bridge hike was with a similar group of at-risk youth, and included a boat ride exit. The purpose of these backpacking trips is to engage youth in challenging, drug-free experiences that teach them how much stronger they are than they think themselves to be. It is a very effective counterpoint to unhealthy and risky behaviors among this age group.