Originally published Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 04:24p.m.

WINDOW ROCK — President Russell Begaye met and congratulated Niagara Rockbridge, a member of the Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council (NNYAC) who was recently crowned Miss Indian Arizona 2018-2019 Oct. 13.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation, I am immensely proud of Miss Niagara Rockbridge,” President Begaye said. “She is dedicated to promoting the Navajo language and culture–as we’ve seen with her work on the youth council. I look forward to seeing what she will do for the entire state of Arizona.”

As the 57th Miss Indian Arizona, Rockbridge represents all 22 tribes in Arizona. Her platform is to promote fundamental law through cultural teachings.

“I feel that while we are all sovereign nations, we are connected by the issues we face such as domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking,” Rockbridge said. “What I want to do is encourage youth and elders to gain confidence through their language and culture and make their voices heard.”

Rockbridge is a prominent member of the Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council, according to Yvonne Kee-Billison, mentor to the youth council and executive staff assistant for the Office of the President and Vice President.

The responsibility of the youth council is to identify issues and recommend action to the Navajo Nation government. In total, there are 12 representatives on the council. Two represent the nation at large, and two represent each of the five agencies. Rockbridge, who is from Pinon, represents Central Agency.

At the Miss Indian Arizona pageant, held at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Rockbridge competed against five other contestants from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and San Carlos Apache Tribe.

The pageant is open to enrolled members of Arizona Native American tribes between the ages of 17 to 24. Each tribe is allowed to have two representatives who compete in six categories: interview, talent, evening gown, traditional dress, oral speech presentation and personal interviews.

Information provided by Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

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