Native Health Initiative kicks off its 7th Annual Gratitude Run/Walk at North Domingo Baca Park Thanksgiving morning.
Hot air balloons will take off from the field while live music is playing from 8-9 a.m. The registration table and packet pick-up closes at 8:45 a.m. and at 8:50 a.m. there will be an opening ceremony. The kids 400-meter dash starts at 9 a.m. and the 5K, one and two mile walk/runs start together at 9:05 a.m.
According to the NHI website, the organization has reached over 5,000 people through it’s six programs – Breathe Tradition, Not Addiction; Healers of Tomorrow; Scholarships & Grants; Indigenizing Health; Community Asset Mapping; and Running Medicine.
The event is free, but donations are being accepted to support four to six young indigenous leaders to serve as staff in the coming year. This year’s goal is to raise $50,000. Donations can be given via PayPal at lovingservice.us/donate. In addition, cash, checks or in-kind donations such as winter clothes, hygiene items and non-perishable food products will also be accepted at the event to help local families in need.
The NHI vision for the Gratitude Run/Walk is to offer an event that celebrates family and community. “We also believe that movement is medicine and plan to keep this event free, knowing that hefty race fees create a barrier for many families,” the NHI website says.
Participants are urged to bring a reusable water bottle to eliminate the need for paper cups and help NHI with its zero waste initiative. Running Medicine merchandise will be available for purchase at the event. No pets are allowed on the course.
Native Health Initiative is a community-driven partnership working toward health equity through loving service that values indigenous wisdom and knowledge of the community.