Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month
November is the start of National Native American Month! It is a celebration of the resilience and achievements of the Native community, and an opportunity to recognize leaders who are fighting for the health and well-being of the various people and the deep culture within their communities. In fact, Arizona is home to 22 different Native communities, all of whom are integral to the state’s growth and success.
We connected with Germaine Simonson, owner of Rocky Ridge Gas and Market in Navajo Nation, to learn more about her impact in the neighborhood as well as gain some perspective on the abundant culture that the Native community embodies.
Our conversation with Germaine gave us insight into the various mental, behavioral, and physical health programs she has initiated in the Navajo community from outreach through Rocky Ridge Market. As a store located in a rural setting, 50 miles away from any Navajo Nation town that provides social services, grocery stores, and hospitals, Rocky Ridge Market serves as a core supplier of numerous resources for many of its neighboring residents.
Germaine’s market is a vital element of the community, especially in times of need, such as when the community took a hard hit during COVID 19. Usual suppliers stopped delivering needed sanitary supplies to the area, which prompted Germaine to incorporate a donation distribution center and food pantry into the Rocky Ridge Market.
Today, the Market is in full swing with workshops centered around empowering new entrepreneurs in their community, overall pushing to spread knowledge about the diversity within Native culture and support local small businesses.
Join Valley Leadership’s Explore Class 2 to visit Rocky Ridge Market in Navajo Nation and get hands-on experience learning about Native American culture and the way their community leaders have leveraged available resources to ensure the wellness of their residents!