----------What we do---------

Trails Initiatives

Our community service initiatives have led to the creation of many miles of trails across the reservation and we serve in an oversight capacity, promoting the developments of trails across the Nation. Our summer trails crews focus on trails in the tribal parks, with an ongoing efforts at LCR, 4Corners, Asaayi, Rainbow Trail and Window Rock.

Youth Programs

We began offering outdoor adventures for youth in the Shonto community in 1988. Since that time, we have been involved in offering positive programs and activities for youth and communities across the Navajo Nation.

Diné Bike Project

We began offering outdoor adventures for youth in the Shonto community in 1988. Since that time, we have been involved in offering positive programs and activities for youth and communities across the Navajo Nation, with over 300 outings at Navajo Mountain, Chuskas, LCR, Grand Canyon, Carrizo Mountains and Rainbow Bridge.

Navajo Parks Race Series

The Navajo Parks Race Series was initiated in 2015 as a partnership of NavajoYES with Navajo Parks & Rec and the Office of Navajo President & Vice President. The intent of the Series is to promote health and wellness, while exposing folks to the beauty of Dine’ Bikeyah. The 2018 Series will feature events at Navajo Mountain/Rainbow Bridge, Monument Valley, Little Colorado River Gorge, Window Rock, Shiprock, Camp Asaayi and Four Corners.

Education and Outreach

We love to visit schools and communities to share the message of health and wellness. We also have created a series of posters, trail guides and other resources to promote healthy living in Dine' Bikeyah. Whether it be a health fair, school presentation, chapter meeting, or other event, we'll be glad to be there.

The overarching goal of NavajoYES is to promote an infrastructure of wellness on the Navajo Nation that provides experiences and opportunity throughout the year.  Thousands of folks participate in and contribute to positive activities (youth outings, family hikes, races, trail projects, bike work days and more) which in turn promote and empower community wellness as a whole.


NavajoYES Board of Directors and Staff/Volunteers
Tom Riggenbach

Tom Riggenbach

Executive Director

Tom Riggenbach, the Director of NavajoYES and lead guide on most treks, has over 30 years experience in the backcountry of the Southwest. He has led over 300 youth wilderness outings, including backpacking, mountain biking and hiking adventures throughout the region. Tom has a passion for running, has ran Boston four times, and has completed marathons in all 50 states and on the 7 continents.

George Kelly

George Kelly

Bike Exchange Program Coordinator

George is the head of Beclabtio CERT. He and his team are an integral part of the Dine’ Bike Project and the Navajo Parks Race Series, to which they donate hundreds of manhours each year. Beclabito Baptist Church serves as the base of the Dine’ Bike Project, which aids in the distribution of hundreds of bikes across the Nation each year.

Rygie Bekay

Rygie Bekay

Program Staff

Our course coordinator for the Navajo Parks Race Series is Rygie Bekay of K’aabizhii nahastl’ah, who oversees all race day operations across the Nation. He is also a backcountry trip leader and a member of our trail crew. Rygie, who is Wilderness First Aid-certified, is also an avid hiker, backpacker and runner.

Sharon Sandoval

Board President

The NavajoYES Board President Sharon Sandoval hails from the community to To’ko, near Shiprock. Sharon is an active NPRS volunteer and helps to host the Dine’ Bike Project in her home church, Beclabito Baptist Church. She leads an active lifestyle, and takes part in multiple races throughout the year.

Phefelia Herbert-Nez

Phefelia Herbert-Nez

Advisory Board Member

The Navajo Nation First Lady has worked with Dine’ College for many years and has served as a board member of NavajoYES since 2010. She brings a unique perspective and skill set to the organization. She and her husband, President Jonathan Nez, live in Window Rock with their two sons.

Scott Nydam

Scott Nydam

Advisory Board - NICA Coach

Scott Nydam is a former pro cyclist and current coach of the Dine’ Comp high school mountain bike team, which is a part of the Arizona NICA league. Scott has been a NavajoYES board member since 2015, with a special focus on our bike projects. He is co-owner of Silver Stallion Coffee in Gallup, New Mexico, where he lives with his family.

Kristine Laughter

Kristine Laughter

Volunteer

Kristine has been involved with NavajoYES for nearly two decades and volunteers at many events. Originally from Kayenta, Kristine brings a financial background to the organization and is now part of the administration of the Rough Rock Community School.

Betty Hawley

Betty Hawley

Board Member || Navajo Parks Race Series Volunteer

Betty (in lime jacket above, with family, as always), hails from White Mesa, near Chilchinbeto. She has been an active NavajoYES volunteer and board member since the 1990’s. She and her kids – and now grandkids - have grown up with the organization over the past two decades. In recent years, she has assumed a larger role with the Navajo Parks Race Series and Tour de Rez Cup Series.

Myron Bryant

Myron Bryant

Summer Trails Crew Lead || Dine’ Bike Project Volunteer

As a five-time Tour de Rez alumni, Myron continues to be involved in the programs and outings of NavajoYES. Myron was a key figure in the development of the Navajo Parks Race Series in the summer of 2015 and was instrumental in plotting the course for the Asaayi Mountain Runs, Rainbow Bridge Ultra and Monument Valley Marathon events. Originally from Shonto, Myron is a student at Northern Arizona University.

Jimmy Keith

Jimmy Keith

Program Volunteer

The rez-renown flute player has been a part of NavajoYES outings and events for over 20 years. “Jimbo” has been a support staff, driver, entertainer/cultural educator and trip leader. Originally from Chilchinbeto, Jimbo has been a Monument Valley guide for over a decade.

Irene Dayzie

Irene Dayzie

Board Member

Irene has been a supporter of the Tour de Rez since her first children were part of the Tour experience in 1995. She and her daughters and granddaughters are part of the food team at many NavajoYES events. She lives in the Shonto community near Black Mesa, where she oversees her family’s cattle and sheep ranch.

Irvina Ellison

Board Member

Irvina Ellison of T’iis Nazbas has been involved with NavajoYES since her sons became involved with Tour de Rez in their childhood. She is an active volunteer with Navajo Parks Race Series events, where she serves as registration coordinator. She and her family live in T’iis Nazbas.

Kimberly Keith

Kimberly Keith

Trip Leader || NPRS Volunteer

Since 2005, Kimberly Keith of Shonto has been involved in outings and projects of NavajoYES. She currently is a trip leader on Grand Canyon and Rainbow Bridge treks, serves as an aid station volunteer on NPRS events, works on the summer trail team and provides medical/first aid support at events. Kim is Wilderness First Aid-certified and brings to the organization an awesome personality, music skills and passion for Dine’ Bikeyah.

Joel Page

Joel Page

IT

Joel Page of Immanuel Mission oversees all things tech for the organization – maintaining our website, assisting with registration and aiding with marketing and fund-raising. Joel is an avid and competitive trail runner and competes in many race around the Nation.

Chase B. Yazzie

Chase B. Yazzie

Board Member || Navajo Parks Race Series & Tour de Rez Cup Series Volunteer

Chase experienced the great outdoors with NavajoYES as a child backpacking to Rainbow Bridge; the passion for the outdoors and fitness has stayed with him. After returning from a stint with the United States Marine Corps, Chase returned to Kayenta and is now a board member and very active volunteer with NavajoYES. He is an all-around athlete, with a special interest in weights, running and Spartan races.

Klara Kelley, PhD.

Klara Kelley, PhD.

Board Member || Cultural Resource Consultant & Trail Adviser

Klara is an archaeologist who serves as a board member and cultural resource consultant for trail projects across the Navajo Nation. She and her husband David are also regular volunteers at NavajoYES events, and have a strong love of the outdoors, climbing and backpacking.

Rue Nelson

Rue Nelson

Board Member || Past President

Sharon Nelson, RN, FNP worked in Navajo Nation healthcare for eight years at Inscription House, Dennehotso and Chilchinbeto and currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota where cold is the new cool. Ms. Nelson has helped to bring significant growth to the organization during her time at the helm and continues to provide major leadership in program development.

Bidtah Becker

Bidtah Becker

Advisory Board

As the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, Bidtah was instrumental in the creation of the Navajo Parks Race Series, an year-round series that highlights the Navajo tribal parks. Bidtah is now associate attorney for NTUA and lives with her family in Fort Defiance.

Troy Eid

Troy Eid

Legal Counsel

Troy became familiar with the NavajoYES and the Navajo Parks Race Series by taking part in the series, through which he has experienced all the parks. As an avid runner, Troy appreciates the beauty of Dine’ Bikeyah and offers insight and advise for the board. He is the president of the Navajo Bar Association and is a partner with Greenberg, Traurig, LLP.

Bernadine Greyeyes

Bernadine Greyeyes

Board Member || Navajo Parks Races Series & Tour de Rez Cup Series Volunteer

An EMT with the Utah Navajo Health System, Bernadine is based in Monument Valley. She is a board member of NavajoYES, and is a very active volunteer with the Navajo Parks Race Series and the Tour de Rez Cup Series. She takes part in races and events around the Nation, and she won the 2019 Tour de Rez Cup. Bern is an avid cyclist and runner.

Jim Crittenden

Jim Crittenden

Board Member || NPRS Registrar

Jim has been an active participant in NavajoYES programs for over a decade. His first encounter with the organization was through NavajoYES backpacking treks with his students in Grand Canyon. He currently serves the program as event registrar for NPRS and Tour de Rez Cup events.

Events on the horizon

Monument Valley Ultra

The Monument Valley Ultra on February 29, 2020 will continue as a part of the Navajo Parks Race Series under the auspices of Navajo Parks & Recreation and the nonprofit NavajoYES. Visit the event page.

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