Diné woman wins Miss Indian Nations crown
By Carolyn Calvin
WINDOW ROCK, Oct. 11, 2010
"Kids have to dream big and not set any limits on themselves," said Thinn, 26. "There are more opportunities out there for them."
Thinn won the crown of Miss Indian Nations on Sept. 11 at a pageant held during the United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck, N.D. She now serves as an ambassador for all Indian nations and as an official representative of United Tribes Technical College.
The daughter of Amos and Joann Thinn of White Post, Ariz., Thinn is Bit'ahnii (Within His Cover Clan) born for 'Áshiihí (Salt People Clan). Her chei is Tódích'íi'nii (Bitter Water Clan) and her nálí is Yé'ii dine'é Táchii'nii (Giant People of the Red Running into Water Clan).
"A lot of our kids only see what they see here," she said. "It's such a remote area."
Thinn, who attended school at Shonto, Ariz., from preschool to eighth grade, said she was fortunate to learn about opportunities outside the Navajo Nation.
"There is more out there," she said. "You can grow up to be a fashion designer or a photographer. You can have any career you want. The road is not so black and white.
"In high school, I was really shy and reserved," she said.
Attending college classes with people of other races "pushed me to speak up and challenge stereotypes," she said.
Thinn plans to visit as many communities on the Navajo Nation as possible to encourage children to do the same.
"Being Miss Indian Nations is not just about looking pretty and making appearances," she said. "It's about serving your people. You have a title and can network with people."
During her reign, Thinn will continue working on curriculum and instruction in the Diné Studies Department at Shonto Preparatory School.
She graduated in 2007 from Arizona State University with bachelor's degrees in political science and American Indian studies. She is currently studying for the law school admissions test.
Thinn is excited to travel through the United States and Canada as Miss Indian Nations. This month she will be in Lame Deer, Mont., for a national convention.
"I would like to thank God because I know I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me," she said. "Also, I would like to thank my family in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma for their continual love, prayers and encouragement."
She also expressed gratitude to the White Post and Shonto communities for their support.
Christina Thomas of Nevada was first runner-up in the Miss Indian Nations pageant. Carmen Selam of Washington was second runner-up. Sunni Rose Wilkinson of White Shield, N.D., was third runner-up. Miss Congeniality was Brianne Herman of Rosebud, S.D. Children's Choice was White Elk Woman Dickens of White Shield.