New Ceremonial queen battles teen suicide


Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Newly crowned Miss Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Ashley Claw, of Chinle, carries her gifts after being crowned by outgoing queen Zunneh-bah Martin on Aug. 11.

The heavy winds kicking up the sand at Red Rock Park had calmed down in time for Ashley Reine Claw to be crowned the 2018-19 Miss Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial queen.

Nearly a week’s worth of competition between the three Navajo contestants – Claw, Kiana Boyd and Sierra Vail – led to Friday night’s coronation where Claw, 20, from Chinle, was named the new queen.

But before the winner was announced, the ladies waited to walk into the rodeo arena and stood in veiled nervousness and excitement wondering which one of them would be named the new Miss Ceremonial.

“I’m pretty nervous – my stomach is in knots,” said Claw, before she was named the new Miss Ceremonial. “But I’m excited. It’s been a fun week.” She described the week as full of learning about her competition and developing friendships with them.

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Categories: People

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at