‘Navajo values at work’

Special to the Times | Stacy Thacker Former tribal leader, Peterson Zah, addresses the crowd about veteran’s issues during the 2015 Steamboat Community Christmas event on Dec. 19 in Steamboat, Ariz.

Special to the Times | Stacy Thacker
Former tribal leader, Peterson Zah, addresses the crowd about veteran’s issues during the 2015 Steamboat Community Christmas event on Dec. 19 in Steamboat, Ariz.

Steamboat Christmas celebration a time of reflection, bonding

ST-Steamboat2STEAMBOAT, Ariz.

The smell of peppermint and freshly prepared food filled the chapter house as community members in Steamboat, Ariz. gathered for a Christmas celebration.

The goal of the annual gathering is to reaffirm and strengthen the community bond, according to Steamboat commission presidentMatthew Noble.

“All our burdens, we leave it at home and we come here and laugh,” he said.

Over 60 people attended the 2015 Steamboat Community Christmas event and packed the meeting hall to standing room only. They listened as guest speakers recognized the veterans and as others talked about the true meaning of Christmas. They laughed and cheered when local performers, Quinton Kien and Jay Begaye had the floor.

“It was really an honor to come back to my community,” Begaye said, adding that as a boy, he used to play on the rocks that now surround the chapter house.

He recalled a time when the Steamboat community would gather in a large barn that existed before the chapter house became a community gathering area.

“They used to sing songs and play shoe games,” he said about the elders, adding that they also told winter stories.

Begaye said that back in the days of the old barn, the gatherings weren’t organized. They simply happened. Now bringing the community together isn’t as easy, he said. But it’s worth trying to restore what Steamboat had when he was growing up.

One of Begaye’s favorite moments of the event was passing out presents to the children and seeing the joy on their faces, he said.


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Categories: Community
Tags: steamboat