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Rollling in dough: Family food stand builds life skills, independence for kids

Rollling in dough: Family food stand builds life skills, independence for kids


Last week, the Simpson family from Chinle got up at 5 a.m. and drove two and a half hours to a place they’d never been to sell food they only sell during fair season. This is not how the parents, Berlinda and Quanah Simpson, make money to support the family. It wasn’t even to make extra money, though this was definitely a perk.

It was to teach their children a very important lesson. “I always tell my girls, ‘You better not be broke in the future. You know how to make fry bread,’” Berlinda said with a laugh. “You can just make a make-shift shack and start selling out of there.” For the past five years, the Simpson family has been selling Navajo food during fair season.

The first Navajo fair every year is the Eastern Navajo Fair which underwent a rebranding this year. In years prior it was called Diné Bi’ Eastern Fair. This was the family’s first time at the Eastern Fair and they weren’t sure if they would be coming back next year as food vendors were located clear across the fairgrounds and too far from the rodeo grounds.

The fair was also not well attended and was nearly empty most days. Anyway, it wasn’t the lack of people that bothered Berlinda. It was the placement of the food vendors because location is important.

This is just one drop in a sea of knowledge that Berlinda is trying to teach her children. Slowly but surely they are picking it up.

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

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About The Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah


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