On October 14th, Indigenous Health and Wellness Connections (IHAWC) in partnership with the Salt Lake City Track Club (SLCTC) held a 6 mile community trail amongst the breathtaking fall foliage. Supporters of IHAWC and members of the SLCTC arrived at the Little Cottonwood Canyon just before the sun began to rise and were greeted with a warm cup of coffee provided by 801 Coffee Roasters and welcoming statements from IHAWC Executive Director, Shelby Chapoose, and SLCTC Board Member Phaedra Kilbourn.
Following this welcoming, Utah Diné Bikéyah Communications Director, Jesse Wyasket, spoke to participants about the profound historical relevance of the land in which the trail run was about to take place. Jesse, a member of the Ute Indian Tribe, acknowledged that the area is the ancestral territory of the Ute Indian Tribe and the integral role that this land and all land plays in cultural practices.
Afterwards, Jacob Crane, Cultural Liaison for the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, addressed the group explaining that his purpose for attending this event was to offer a song to our people that still remain in the canyon; as they have not heard their songs in a long time. Jacob then instructed everyone to face East and as the sun began to peek over the mountains the song was offered and the run began.
During the planning stages of this event, organizers chose the Little Cottonwood Trail specifically because of its flexibility for runners to customize their run.
“Throughout our events we acknowledge and honor that we have supporters of all abilities. We hope our participants feel welcomed and supported regardless of where they are on their health and wellness journey.”-Shelby Chapoose.
This event emphasized the importance of seeking balance between the four pillars of health acknowledged in the IHAWC mission; Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, and Mental Health. IHAWC would like to thank the Salt Lake City Track Club, Jesse Wyasket, Jacob Crane, 801 Coffee Roasters, and everyone that attended.