Miss Navajo Nation Pageant Contestants 2017

Pageant Contestants

Darienne Nez, Crystal Littleben, Kaylee Walker Begay, Rayvon Yazzie, Devin Gorman, Niagara Rockbridge, Kayla Martinez, and Summer Jake

Contestant #1 Summer Jake
My name is Summer Jake; I am Coyote Pass Clan, born for Water Flows Together. I am 24 years old, born in Gallup, NM and raised in Goat Springs AZ. My parents are April James and Arnold Jake and attend St. Michael’s Indian School then graduated in 2011 on May 21. For the past four years, attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and graduated with a B.S. in Biology this past May of 2017.

My future goals are to attend a Clinical Psychology program at Midwestern in Glendale, AZ and come back to the reservation to work in a Psych Department. If chosen as Miss Navajo Nation 2017-2018, I want to be able to encourage young Diné people to follow their dreams, to work hard to acquire their goals that most people look at as impossible. Also, I want to promote healthier living from increasing physical activity and having healthier eating habits. Lastly, to stress the importance of Diné Bizaad, to keep it from dying.

Contestant #2 Kayla Martinez
My name is Kayla Martinez. I am 22 years old and I am from Tuba City, Arizona. am part of the Salt Clan born for the Edgewater Clan. My maternal grandfather was part of the Big Lodge people of the Crow Tribe, but, unfortunately passed away. My paternal grandfather is from Red Running into Water Clan.

My decision to run for the Miss Navajo Pageant began when I was a young child. My grandmother, who was always encouraging me to be the very best could be, told me that to achieve your dreams; one must be willing to do what it takes to make it come true. I grew up with these teachings, as my family relocated from my hometown in Tse Bonito, New Mexico to Page, Arizona. I never forgot my grandmother’s teachings, applied it as well as many other teachings in my life. Being a Pastor’s Daughter, some of those morality teachings came helpful in different areas in my life. May of 2010, I was promoted from Page Middle School, soon after was when my family again relocated to Tuba City, Arizona. The reason for relocating was because my family started a church. I personally wasn’t too thrilled to be moving to Tuba City, Arizona, but after being there for the past seven years it’s become my home.

Through observing, I have noticed different issues; I wish to address and hope to become an advocate for as the next Miss Navajo. The first is pertaining to our elders. It is a way of life in the process of life that it comes to an end. How our society and younger generation treat them is unacceptable. The treatment that they are expendable and unimportant is saddening. The second is directed to the victims and families of victims who have been impacted and change due to the social discourses of suicide domestic violence and sexual assault. I understand that this is a very sensitive topic in our nation but it must be addressed by someone who has come through it. I wish to be the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves. Lastly is to bring housing that is attainable and affordable to starting families. Not only through NHA but to bring forth a designed specifically for our local area that is not only affordable but energy efficient as well. This housing will not be just for the well-off families but more for those who can afford the typical NHA bill, the one’s starting families on the one income.

Contestant #3 Niagara Rockbridge
Fruit clan. My maternal grandparents are the Wandering People clan and my paternal grandparents are Near the Water clan. I am 18 years old. I grew up in Tselani/Cottonwood where I was raised in a traditional Hogan with horses, sheep, and a cornfield. Frequently, I travel to Pinon, Arizona where mynal asdzaa is from. Here is where I call my second home. As a student at Pinon High School I strived to get the most out of my education. The result of me striving for this goal was graduating in the top 5 of my class. As l attended grade school I had kept in mind my ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian. Since the age of 12I had begun Working with the reservation vet Dr. Adrianne Ruby as a veterinary assistant. This helped me educate not only myself but the community as well. While I was a student in elementary, middle school, and high school I would also compete for various titles. At a young age, I represented school titles and small organizations as well. As I matured Iran for an agency title. From 2010 to 2011 I was crowned Miss Central Navajo Pre-teen. In Between the years of 2011 to 2014 I carried school titles. It was until 2015 to 2016 had the honor of carrying Miss Teen Navajo. Throughout all my reigns promoted our Dine language, culture, health care of our livestock, veterans, elders, and special needs individuals, Since 2015 I have broaden my horizons and decided to run for Miss Navajo Nation. If I were selected would promote the preservation of our Dine way of life through advocating for Our elders’ Way of life, their livestock and our cultural values that tie these three subjects together.

Contestant #4 Devon Gorman
Hello, I am Devon Gorman. I am White; my matrilineal descendant tracing back to French immigrants from New Orleans. lamborn for the Cliff Dwellers clan. My maternal grandfather is Hispanic, and my paternal grandfather is of the Water’s Edge clan. I am 25 years of age and come from Chinle, Arizona. There live with my mother and father, Lorna Barreras and Melvin Gorman. They both work at the Chinle Junior High School. In addition to my parents, also have one older sister, Jennifer Gorman, who works at the Tsehootsooi Medical Center. We all work together to help take care of our cattle on the western mesas of Chinle.

L attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies. Since Graduating in December of 2015, have worked as an intern at Canyon de Chelly National Monument for the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as the park’s volunteer ambassador. help to promote volunteerism for public lands, but specifically at the Canyon. I am fortunate to have found a work opportunity at home and hope to continue my career on the Navajo Nation as well.

Contestant #5 Ravonelle Yazzie
Hello and greetings everyone within the Navajo Nation and beyond I originally come from the community of Steamboat, Arizona, specifically, five miles south of the Steamboat Rock in an area called High Country. I am the granddaughter of the late Helen B. Begay and Leonard Begay. My mother’s are the Water’s Edge Clan. My father’s are the One-Walks-Around Clan. My maternal grandfather’s are the Red House Clan. My paternal grandfather’s are the Red Running Into the Water Clan. My paternal grandparents are Ella and Alex Yazzie of St. Michaels. Arizona. My parents are Roselyn and Alvin Yazzie. I am the middle child of two siblings: an older sister named Rachelle Yazzie and a younger sister named Alvanna Yazzie. I am also the aunt to my older sister’s six-year-old son Rylan Begay. We all reside in St. Michaels, Arizona. In 2013, I graduated from Window Rock High School. Four years later, I earned my Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Educational Studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Even though I attended college, I realized that, as Diné, we must carry on our Navajo tradition and culture passed on to us by our grandpas and grandmas. It is sacred. We must always speak our mother language. My name is Ravonelle Yazzie but you may call me Ravon.

Contestant #6 Kayl Walker Begay
Kaylee Walker Begay comes from strong blood lineage of the Naashteezhi Tabaaha women of Canyon De Chelly (Zuni Edge-Water Clan), born for the Taneeszanii (Tangle Clan), her maternal grandfathers are of Tlaaschi’i (Red Cheek People Clan), and her Paternal grandfathers are of Tachiinii (Red-Streak R People Clan). She is 24 years young, Originally from T”iis Nanit”I better known as Cottonwood Canyon which is located in Canyon De Chelly. She resides near where the water flow out from Canyon De Chelly. Her passion in sustaining the Dine Language has inspired her to become a certified bilingual teacher.

Contestant #7 Crystal Littleben

Crystal Littleben is of the Navajo Diné) tribe, born and raised for twenty-five years on the Navajo iNation. She is of the Red House (Kin ?ichíinii) clan, born for the Coyote Pass (Ma’i Deeshgizhnii) clan. Her maternal grandfather’s clan is the Bitter Water (Biih Bitoohnii) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is the Under His Cover (Bit’ahnii). Crystal is originally from Tuba City, Arizona but grew up in Round Rock, Arizona. This is how she introduces herself as a Navajo (Diné woman.

Her parents are Dorothy B. Littleben from Tuba City, Arizona and Thomas Littleben, Jr. from Round Rock, Arizona. Her maternal grandmother was Lola Bilagody from Cowsprings, Arizona and her maternal grandfather was Henry Bilagody from Tuba City, Arizona. Her paternal grandmother is Louise Littleben from Round Rock, Arizona and her paternal grandfather was Thomas Littleben, Sr. from Rock Point, Arizona.

A daughter of a social worker and Navajo Linguist, it was only natural for her to pursue either profession. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Native American Studies from Northern Arizona University. Crystal currently works at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, for the Navajo Cultural Arts Program as a Project Coordinator. Her job gives her the daily dose of Navajo Cultural Arts and Language that she needs to pursue and accomplish her life goals. It also gives her the opportunity to work and motivate students to continue to learn the Navajo Culture and Language. The Navajo Cultural Arts Program intends to enhance and revitalize traditional Navajo cultural arts practices while providing opportunities for Navajo cultural arts knowledge holders and master artisans to share their unique skills in multigenerational setting.

If Crystal were chosen as Miss Navajo Nation, her platform will be Holistic Well-Being. She plans to promote positive and healthy living physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. She believes that our Navajo tradition is about balance and each holistic dimension contains many sub-categories. She heartily understands that we are in an environment where achieving this holistic balance is crucial. Her platform integrates and promotes our Sa’áh Naagháí Bik’éh Hozhóón way of life.

Contestant #8 Darienne Nez

Darienne Nez is T6’aháni (Near To Water Clan) and born for Tödlich’i'(Bitter Water Clan). Her maternal grandfather is T“izí Lání (Many Goats Clan) and her paternal grandfather is Tá’b??há (Water’s Edge Clan). Her maternal grandparents are Lena and Howard Begay. Lena is originally from Black Mesa, Az, and Howard is from Coalmine Canyon, Az, Darienne’s paternal grandparents are Margarete and Clark Et sitty, Margarete is Lukachukai, Az, and Clark is from Forest Lake, Az, Darienne is 25 years old and has two older sisters.

Darienne was raised on the beautiful lands of Coalmine, Az, where she was able live a simple humble life with no access to running water or electricity. Her constant exposure to horses allowed her to develop skills, such as training horses, trimming their hooves, racing horses, and at one point was involved in barrel racing. Her connection with horses has taught her valuable skills such patients and hard-work. Darienne also has a deep passion for the environment which has been influenced by her traditional upbringing

In 2016, Darienne graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University. While she was in school she had the pleasure of working for the NASA Space Grant program doing independent research on Climate Change and the impacts of rising carbon dioxide levels on crustaceans. She was also able to work for the Institute of Tribal Environmental Programs (ITEP) for 2 years working with youth on and off the Navajo reservation promoting and educating about Climate Change. Since being back at home Darienne started working with veterinarian Dr. Adrienne Ruby, aka “Rez Vet, helping animals all across the Navajo Reservation. Darienne plans to enroll into graduate school together Master’s degree in Animal Science or Environmental Policies.

If chosen for Miss Navajo Nation she hopes to promote awareness of domestic violence, campaign for love and respect for Mother Earth, and advocate for the primacy of our Dine language and culture. Darienne grew up in a domestic violent home; fortunately she was able to escape its far-reaching effects and now has a father that respects her mother. Her and her sisters were raised with the teaching that motherhood is a sacred role and relationship to be treasured. Combined with education, she believes her story can help victims and their families, possibly even saving lives. She wants to be a source of hope, encouraging victims to understand that a home without domestic abuse produces the conditions for empowerment.

She understands Mother Earth has healing and restorative properties. She believes we are a people that need to find our roots and give back to the Earth, by cleaning up our lands. Darienne also believes when we do not teach our children the beautiful language and culture of our ancestors, we deprive them of powerful weapons long used to maintain healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. She believes we can and must inspire our Dine youth to reclaim the enduring knowledge and wisdom of our elders.

If chosen for Miss Navajo Nation, she wants to challenge her Dine people to honor relationships as grounding forces to promote individual, spiritual, and collective health and strength. She believes that positive relationships can be the richest source of healing through the practice of Ké and Hózhó. Our teachings should remind us of the often forgotten relationships between living beings, elements of nature, and inanimate objects,

If selected as Miss Navajo she would represent her Dine people with dignity and humility. She would represent the Navajo nation as a committed ambassador, dedicating her time and energy to providing opportunities, promoting awareness, and instilling the highest aspirations in her Dine people.

 

Navajo Nation Fair Events 2017 (Full List)

 

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