Shiprock Service Area provides services in the northern region of the Navajo Nation within the three states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah that covers 22 chapter areas. The community gets its name from the giant volcanic plug that towers over the desert terrain southwest of the community that early White Settlers thought it resembled an old English Clipper and so they labeled it Shiprock. The Navajos call it “Tse’Bit’a’i” or “Rock with Wings” from a traditional legend of how a giant bird was killed by one of the Navajo twin heroes known as Monster Slayer.
Shiprock is a very progressive community along the San Juan River, and only one of three ways to get to the Four Corners Monument. The only place in the whole United States where four states come together: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Shiprock has served as the backdrop to several western and scientific movies including the “Hallelujah Trail.” The Shiprock High School Basketball team has also been the subject of a television documentary for their accomplishments.
Our Service Area serves a population of over 31,000 people and we provide diabetes prevention services to the Navajo people by encouraging physical activities, education, nutrition counseling, and information that delay the on-set of type I or type II diabetes.
Shiprock Service Area implements an annual calendar. Based on this annual calendar, the staff members conduct their work and implement projects that are planned throughout the year. There are many services offered and conducted throughout the year such as: Walking Club, Diabetes Dooda Walk/Run and Biking, Monthly Health Awareness Days at Service Area Office, Song & Dance, Chili Cook-off during the Northern Navajo Fair, Mini Nutrition Conferences, Nutrition Education and Food Demonstrations, In/Service Education to other tribal departments, health fairs, health screenings and home visits.
We have been involved with fairs annually, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock and the Utah Navajo Fair in Bluff, Utah. The Shiprock Fair is the oldest of all the Navajo Fairs and the second largest on the Navajo Nation. We work closely with the Northern Navajo Nation Fair Board and Directors for our participation in holding the Chili Cook-off and activities during the Youth Day and Elderly Festival. The Utah Navajo Fair has also worked closely with our Project in hosting a Chili Cook-off and providing diabetes education during their festivities.
Our Nutritionist has been very successful in working with Chapters and communities in hosting Kitchen Creations. She is able to teach healthy cooking by demonstrating and providing hands-on experience for community members. The participants enjoy learning about nutrition, label reading on food projects, cooking with various vegetables, and providing healthy dinners for their families.
We’ve also incorporated our traditional values in our education and prevention efforts by hosting Song and Dance. This enables our staff an avenue to teach the importance of healthy lifestyle changes with education about diabetes while people are singing or dancing. This gives people an opportunity to enjoy their own activity while learning that exercise and proper diet are important in battling diabetes.