Four Corners Guides partners with Dzil Ta’ah Adventures to run Navajo Youth Bikepacking & Bikerafting Series this fall
Dzil Ta’ah Adventures and Four Corners Guides are taking the plunge! We’ve started the process of getting our Navajo Youth Bikepacking and Bikerafting program up and running.
We’ll be doing a series of three trips this fall, two of which will happen on the Navajo Nation, led by Jon Yazzie and Nadine Johnson of Dzil Ta’ah, and the final bikerafting adventure led by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, with help from Jon, Nadine, and Lizzy, in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Giving Back – Part of the Program
Since the inception of our business, we have been committed to giving back. Our comprehensive business plan included a significant focus on figuring out ways to get disadvantaged youth in the Four Corners region on bicycles and in packrafts.
Thus, starting in 2019, we met and began brainstorming ideas with Jon and Nadine , both full-blooded Navajos and long-time, expert bikepackers. Finally, July 2020, we decided to go for it and start programming in the fall of that same year, with the goal of running spring and fall tours in subsequent years.
Four Corners Guides will be doing the following as part of our commitment to these Navajo Youth, Jon and Nadine:
- Utilizing our permits, shuttle, packrafting gear, and time, to run the bikerafting portion of the program in October;
- Fundraising to pay for gear, food, transportation costs for the program;
- Doing outreach, public relations and marketing work to get the word out about the program;
- Continuing to plan for the long-term success of the program with Jon and Nadine.
Over the long-term, we also hope to run similar programs for other BIPOC and disadvantaged youth in the Four Corners Region and to possibly facilitate this through work with High Desert Devo, a Cortez-based nonprofit that seeks to develop individual children in a traditional team setting, into life-long cyclists. We will keep you posted as plans develop.
Special Thanks to Scott Nydam
Thanks to Scott for sharing his photos and for being supportive of this endeavor. Many of the kids participating in the Navajo Bikepacking & Packrafting Program come from the Diné Composite NICA Team.
According to Scott: “The definition for a NICA ‘Composite Team’ is ‘a temporary solution’ that allows student-athletes to compete pending the establishment of ‘School-Based Teams’ that later develop. That is where Diné Comp fits in. NICA Leagues across the country provide context to build ‘strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.’ NICA provides kids the opportunity to take part in something bigger, to learn and grow through experience and from others; to dream big and to move themselves forward. With a bike, any sort of isolation has the potential to radically transform into productive solitude.”