Arts & Entertainment | National

Elyse Umemoto from Yakama Nation competes on 'Survivor'

Elyse Umemoto, a member of the Yakama Nation of Washington, is a contestant on Survivor: South Pacific.

Umemoto, 27, grew up on the reservation. She placed second runner-up in the Miss America pageant in 2008.

In addition to being Yakama, Umemoto is German, Hispanic and Japanese. She describes her background on her cast bio.

"It’s not just my character traits that make me a winner. It’s literally in my blood to survive. My Japanese grandfather spent his childhood in an internment camp," Umemoto says.

"My German grandmother’s family has strong, long-standing ties with the government and fled immediately before the war. My Native American grandfather was the son of a deaf mute who learned English as a second language on the reservation by age 9," she adds.

Get the Story:
Slice of Yakima: Wapato native still a 'Survivor' (The Yakima Herald-Republic 10/12)

Related Stories:
Native woman second runner-up at Miss America (1/29)
Native woman heads to Miss America competition (1/15)

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