|The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun
News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.
Miss Navajo Nation 2013-2014, Natasha Hardy from Hunters Point, Arizona.
Alexandria Alvarez, Shoshone-Bannock, crowned Sat. Sept. 7, 2013 in Bismarck.
Two Native American pageant queens named
By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer
RAPID CITY — Indian country is saying good bye to the pow wow season, except for the October Black Hills Pow Wow.
The United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck usually hosts the season ender with the United Tribes Pow wow every year with much fanfare. But the Black Hills Pow Wow snuck in under the wire a few years ago.
Part of the celebration includes the selection of the new Miss Indian Nations. The National Miss Indian Nations Pageant is an ambassador and leadership program created to promote goodwill and representation of all Native tribes and nations while exuding the beauty of the American Indian culture and heritage.
Miss Indian Nations is required to travel a lot and make appearances throughout her reign at numerous events. She presents herself in a graceful and respectable manner and works alongside people from all walks of life.
The newly crowned Miss Indian Nations XXI is Alexandria Alvarez, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe from Fort Hall Idaho. She is the daughter of Vernon Alvarez and Shirley Houtz Alvarez of Fort Hall, Idaho.
Alvarez is 25 years old and holds two degrees from Haskell Indian Nations University, an Associates of Art degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelors Degree in American Indian Studies. Alexandria is currently attending Idaho State University part-time, taking courses in leadership and public speaking.
Alvarez’s long term goal is to attend American Indian Law School at either University of Arizona or the University of Montana.
The outgoing Miss Indian Nations is a Paiute - Shoshone from Fallon, Nev. Shannon Hooper represented the program for the 2012 - 2013 year. In a written statement, Hooper expressed her gratitude for the support she received during her reign.
“As Miss Indian Nations XX 2012-2013, I would like to say thank you to all my supporters throughout the U.S. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent all Native American Nations. I dedicate this year to my family.”
In other pageant news across Indian country, a newly crowned Miss Navajo Nation was also announced. From Hunters Point, Ariz., Natasha Hardy was selected out of a field of eight contestants to receive the high honors.
Hardy, 24, won the crown on a Saturday evening in front of a large audience at the coronation ceremony held in a tent behind the pageant sponsor, the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise.
As Miss Navajo Nation, Hardy plans to revitalize the Navajo language and culture among all facets of Navajo society, particularly the youth.
Hardy is the daughter of Katherine and Gerald Nez of Hunters Point, Ariz.
The Miss Navajo Nations pageant is known for requiring contestants to possess more than passing knowledge of not only their tribe’s history, culture and language, but to also prove, before their tribe, a working knowledge of the customs and traditions. The pageant is considered one of the most physically and mentally demanding across Indian country.
(Contact Karin Eagle at email@example.com)
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