by John Aldrich
The final runs of the spring food run sequence, Sanders, Big Mountain, and Teesto are again based out of Winslow, AZ. During the previous week the base was Chinle, AZ, for the runs to Many Farms, Tsaile, and Pinon. Wind remained a dominant factor throughout these events and was particularly forceful at Many Farms and Sanders.
According to the Navajo Times the wind reached a velocity of 77 mph near Leupp on the day of the Sanders run. This was actually stronger than the wind two weeks earlier when all the signs blew over and the power went out in Winslow. But following that we had beautiful conditions for the food runs to Big Mountain and Teesto.
Sanders is located in an area of the reservation referred to as the New Lands. As a result of the land dispute in the 1970's and 1980's many Navajos were relocated from areas near the Hopi reservation such as Big Mountain and Coal Mine Mesa. This area, south of I40 near Sanders is where many ended up, many miles from their original homelands.
In this photo the Elders are seated in a large circle around the tarp which has clothing items which they will be able to choose from later. Between Elders, their families, and the volunteers, there are easily three hundred people here at the Homeland of the Robertson family.
Now that the spring food runs are completed, we will be turning our attention to summer events for the Program and looking ahead to the fall food runs and the rug show.