CROWNPOINT, N.M. ----Navajo Nation Vice President Frank Dayish Jr., made two visits to celebrate the 19th Annual Eastern Agency Fair with the constituents who came to celebrate the theme of the fair "Celebrate KŽ, Hope and Harmony."
On July 20, Vice President Dayish and staff watched as the participants of the Indian Junior Rodeo Association competed in events such as steer riding, barrel racing and break-away among others.
Speaking from the announcer stand Vice President Dayish welcomed and congratulated the rodeo contestants for doing an outstanding job as well as having the desire and discipline to be involved in the sport of rodeo at a young age.
"I want to thank the parents, grandparents, extended family members and mentors who encourage, teach and support the youth to participate in a demanding and challenging sport," he said.
"The establishment of the rodeo association began nearly 50 years ago and I thank all those who had the vision and courage to take the challenge of rodeo to make it what it is today. It is through rodeo that we compete with ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and grow. Rodeo helps us to remain physically and mentally fit. May we continue to enjoy the sport of rodeo as a form of wholesome entertainment and a way of life."
He expressed his appreciation for the blessings of having animals.
"Livestock and pets make huge differences in our lives. They help heal our troubled thoughts and provide us with comfort and joy. We are especially grateful for our horses; the horse has special meaning in our lives from a historical perspective. Horses have helped our people in times of war, with travel and now a means of economic stability and cultural heritage," he said.
In his second stop the Vice President spoke at the health pavilion on the importance of returning to a healthier way of living by giving the example of the hardworking youth he witnessed at the Indian Junior Rodeo competition.
He stated how proud he was to witness a large group of young people who have taken the challenge to work hard, exercise and complete the mental, physical and spiritual preparations it takes to compete in a challenging sport.
He encouraged the people to turn their thoughts to change their lifestyles to live healthier lives by returning to a more traditional pattern of preparing food and to make a stronger effort to make exercise a daily practice.
On the second day of his visit the Vice President stopped by the Song and Dance and the Dine' Senior Rodeo events. He spoke of continuing to advocate for improved delivery of services for the elderly on the nation. A concern was the lack of service hours for personnel who work with the elderly throughout the agencies.
With the assistance of the Navajo Department of Health the 80 hours in question for employees who work with the aging services will be restored on Oct. 1.
In addition, Vice President Dayish spoke of his work serving as the co-chair of the Tribal Technical Advisory Group for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This year he has attended and participated in three Federal Regional Tribal Consultation Sessions in Regions 6 and 8, as well as the National DHHS Tribal Consultations which addresses the issue of the Deficit Reduction Act which poses challenges for our Navajo people.
Vice President Dayish continues to work with the leadership of the Navajo Nation Division of Health, state and federal officials and is committed to working on the many challenges and barriers in order to fully participate in the Medicare, Medicaid and state children health insurance programs addressing the needs of two of our most vulnerable populations of the Navajo Nation--the elderly and young children.
Vice President Dayish expressed his gratitude for the organizers of the Eastern Navajo Fair for their leadership in organizing the fair and junior rodeo, song and dance, parade and other events.