22-year-old Pinon woman crowned as new Miss Navajo Nation

September 15, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Niagara Rockbridge has been crowned as the new Miss Navajo Nation. The 22-year-old is from Pinon.

A virtual coronation ceremony was held Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock.

Following COVID-19 safety guidelines, the three contestants wore face masks while participating in a weeklong pageant that included a sheep butchering contest, interviews and a traditional and contemporary skills talent competition.

Rockbridge succeeds Shaandiin Parrish, who served an unprecedented two-year term as Miss Navajo Nation as the 2020 pageant was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The role of Miss Navajo Nation is to be an ambassador of the largest sovereign nation in the U.S., according to tribal officials. The tribe’s reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.