ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. — During a luncheon at the St. Michaels Senior Center in St. Michaels, Arizona last week, elders from St. Michaels and surrounding communities expressed their appreciation to the Navajo Nation Council for donating the main course meal.
Members of the council were invited to the special luncheon to be recognized for their support of youth and elders.
During the Navajo Nation fairs, the council supported youth livestock owners by purchasing sheep from the 4-H/FFA Jr. livestock show and exhibits, which were then donated to various entities including St. Michaels Senior Center.
The 4-H/FFA Jr. livestock events encourage Navajo youth to enter, display and compete for top honors in their respective livestock class and categories. The show promotes character building, patience, endurance and leadership for the youth.
At the luncheon, Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) expressed his appreciation for the invitation and admired how the council’s donation of the sheep brought many elders together.
“Every year during the fair season, the council takes the initiative to give-back to the elders by donating sheep to senior centers. At the same time, we invest in the youth by purchasing their livestock. Overall, we want to thank our elders for always being there for our families. Thank you for your continuous support and prayers,” he said.
Earlier that morning, elders from the senior center gathered and butchered the sheep together and prepared lunch for over 40 elders.
During the luncheon, Council Delegate Jonathan L. Hale (Oak Springs, St. Michaels) commended the elders for coming together to prepare the meal.
During the budget session in September, the council approved an additional $808,000 for the Navajo Area Agency of Aging to help meet the needs of senior citizens.
“On behalf of the council, we appreciate and remember our elders and I hope that each of the elders had a special time with one another today. The traditional teaching of the sheep brings warmth, comfort, and strength and I hope each of the elders felt that today,” Hale said.