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Navajo Nation revives horse ride for new council session

July 19, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council is commencing its summer session with a return to tradition.

Tribal officials marked the beginning of the session Monday with a horse ride to the council chamber in Window Rock, Arizona, the Farmington Daily Times reported.

The horse ride was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ride’s participants typically would travel to various chapters before arriving at the session. The event honors how previous tribal leaders would go to the Navajo Nation’s capital.

Delegate Mark Freeland said he rode alongside more than two dozen others.

Still, some delegates chose to attend the session by telephone.

The reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Hard hit by the pandemic with more than 31,000 known cases, the Navajo Nation is seeing cases going down. But leaders are continuing to urge mask wearing and vaccinations.