60th Miss Navajo Nation is from Steamboat Canyon
By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
WINDOW ROCK, Sept. 8, 2012
(Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)
Thomas, 25, won the crown Saturday evening in front of a large audience at the coronation ceremony, held in a tent in front of the Navajo Arts and Craft Enterprise, pageant sponsor.
“I am happy, joyful and blessed to be your 2012-2013 Miss Navajo Nation,” said Thomas in her 15-minute acceptance speech. “It’s a tough job, but I’m up for the challenge.”
Thomas is the daughter of Anderson and Bernice Thomas. She is Naakai Dine’é (Mexican People Clan), born for Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan). Her maternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House People Clan) and her paternal grandfather is Honághaahnii (One Who Walks Around Clan).
She is the youngest of four children, and her brothers are Andy, Arlo and Leander.
Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. She recently started her Master’s program in Bilingual and Multicultural Education also at NAU.
As Miss Navajo Nation, Thomas plans to do her best in reaching out to the youth by teaching them Navajo teachings of the elderly, the backbone of Navajo culture, language and society.
“As your ambassador of the Navajo Nation, I will do my best to talk to your children the way a sister, a grandma and a mother would talk to a child with kind words, and support that I got from my family,” Thomas said to the thousands of spectators in the crowd.
“To our elders, I will visit them,” she added. “For it is because of our elders, their teachings, it will be them that I will visit for the children that are carrying on the language and culture. It is them that I will talk to. Both sides, it feels, the two are inseparable.”
Thomas is the 60th Miss Navajo ever to win the coveted title, 60 years after the first Miss Navajo, Dr. Beulah Melvin Allen, won it in 1952.