ROCK POINT, Ariz. (AP) — A Navajo woman has become a viral internet sensation, showcasing her skateboarding skills on the reservation.
Naiomi Glasses hopes that with her growing platform a new skate park can be built and will inspire others to pursue their passions.
The 24-year-old is from Rock Point, a Navajo community in northeastern Arizona. She has gained tens of thousands of followers over the past year on social media who can’t get enough of her skateboarding. She also raises sheep and uses the wool to weave rugs and purses.
“I would see these sandstones and I was like ‘I wonder if I could skate that,’ ” Glasses told Albuquerque television station KRQE in an interview. “So then one day I was just like ‘You know what, let me just try it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’ ”
She learned how to skate when she was just 5 years old from her older brother and hasn’t gotten off the board since.
“I’m not a professional at all, by any means, I just like to ride around,” Glasses said. “But it’s very freeing for me.”
She said skateboarding is very popular on the Navajo Nation despite the lack of pavement and just five skate parks throughout the reservation, which spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Glasses said she is teaming up with a Navajo-inspired clothing company that is planning to build a new skate park in the Two Grey Hills area, which is in western New Mexico about two hours away from Glasses’ community.
“I love skateboarding so much and I would just love to bring that joy and love of it to other communities,” she said.
Glasses hopes with her newly discovered platform she can properly represent and share the Indigenous culture with the world and show young Navajo children that they can do anything while living on the reservation.
Work on the skate park project is expected to start this fall.