NOS POS, Ariz. It was appropriate that 6-year-old Frederick
Wing led the group of walkers down the sandy, rocky path that
swirled around the base of the pale peach and yellow buttes in
the hot morning sun.
because last year, Wing's little sister Lynell, lead a group
of people up the Carrizo mountain to a waterfall, considered sacred
by some members of the community.
was only 3-years-old when she made the six-mile hike. And because
she never stopped to rest, or complained during the difficult hike,
the group decided to name the trail after her.
big brother Frederick was not going to be left out of this year's
accolades and made a promise to himself and his mother that he would
lead Wednesday's four-mile walk.
Wing raced along in his Spiderman sandals, his bright orange T-shirt
soon became a small dot in the distance as he made his way up and
down the sagebrush and cottonwood-covered hills.
mom, Janice, said she could barely keep up with him, but knew how
important it was for him to lead the pack.
kids have been looking forward to this for a month and I didn't
want to disappoint them, so we got up early and we made our way
over here. He (Frederick) said he wanted this trail named for him,
so he wanted to make sure he stayed in front," Janice said.
Wing fulfilled his promise and didn't seem a bit tired.
walked in the front," Wing said softly from beneath a baseball
cap, his Spiderman sandals covered in dust, "I made it all
the way over here, that gramma was behind me."
was referring to one of several Navajo 'grammas' who came
out and walked the four-plus miles as truckers and other vehicles
honked to show support and encouragement.
Wing was seen zipping around the Teec Nos Pos Chapter House where
participants were served mutton stew and fry bread.
add to the festivities, various Navajo politicians showed up just
in time for lunch and were seen holding onto colorful commemorative
T-shirts and water bottles meant for those who completed the walk.
funny to have walked all the way and then load up on this,"
quipped one smiling server as she handed over a soda to one tired,
aside, Wednesday's "fun walk" was the first event
to be held in conjunction with the 24th Annual Leadership Day.
is a way to honor Navajo leaders. In the beginning (of Leadership
Day), we set aside one day of the year, where the community and
Navajo leaders come together to do positive activities and share
a meal," said Wallace Todacheeny, event coordinator.
said the Leadership Day has grown over the years and the community
looks forward to it every year for many reasons.
important to honor your leaders and we are very proud to have a
great leader of the Navajo tribe who calls this his home,"
great leader Todacheeny was referring to was former Navajo Chairman
Peter MacDonald, who hails from Teec Nos Pos and is still very much
beloved and respected by many in the community.
MacDonald and first lady Wanda and Delegate Hope MacDonald-Lonetree
(Tuba City Council Delegate) are going to be here on Thursday and
will be the featured speakers," said John MacDonald, brother
of the former Navajo leader.
said there will be many activities for people to enjoy and everyone
is invited to spend the day in Teec Nos Pos.
activities scheduled to being on Thursday, include a parade, free
lunch, Leadership Awards presentations/speakers, rodeo presentation
by Indian National Finals Rodeo World Champion James Hunt, Jr.,
and free western dance.
Navajo Nation Marla Billey will attend and, if time permits, President
Joe Shirley Jr. may also attend.