Navajo Nation gets new crown and Miss Navajo Nation

WINDOW ROCK, A.Z. – Niagara Rockbridge of Tswelani-Cottonwood and Pinon community was crowned 2021-2022 Miss Navajo Nation on Saturday during a live virtual ceremony.

Rockbridge relieves 2019-2021 Shaandiin Parrish of her position after competing in a sheep buttering contest, traditional food competition, essay, business and traditional knowledge interview, and traditional and contemporary skills and talents competition.

"On behalf of the Navajo Nation, we congratulate each of the three contestants for completing the most prestigious cultural pageant in the world. They all showed compassion, love, and the teaching of T’áá Hwó Ají Téego, or self-reliance and self-determination, during the week. We appreciate each of them for their bravery and confidence in sharing their values, beliefs, and teachings," said Jonathan Nez, President of the Navajo Nation. "Congratulations to the new Miss Navajo Nation, Niagara Rockbridge, her family, and everyone who supported her through the competition. We are confident that you will serve and represent our Diné people with great honor, strength, and compassion. We also congratulate the communities of Tselani/Cottonwood and Pinon, Arizona, for raising a strong and resilient young Diné woman, Niagara Rockbridge."

Rockbridge is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House), born for Hashk’?? hadzohi (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line), her maternal grandparents are Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan), and her paternal grandparents are Tó’áhani (Near the Water Clan). Her parents are Deborah and Gary Rockbridge.

"We commend each of the contestants and their families for participating in the pageant, and they all earned the title. Most importantly, we appreciate Shaandiin Parrish for her outstanding service for two years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as Miss Navajo Nation for two years. She was on the frontlines during the height of the pandemic, helping to get food, water, and other essential supplies to families in each of the 110 chapters on the Navajo Nation. She also spent much of her time visiting and encouraging elders and sharing her knowledge with our youth about elders’ teachings, said First Lady Nez.

During the coronation ceremony, the Office of Miss Navajo Nation and the Office of the President and Vice President also unveiled the new Miss Navajo Nation crown, made by Navajo silversmith Matthew Charley, of Bread Springs, N.M. The crown was designed to signify the resiliency and strength of a Diné woman. It is deep stamped and inlaid with white shell and turquoise.

Shandiin Hiosik Yazzie of St. Michaels, A.Z. was also honored as the 1st runner-up at the 2021-2022 Miss Navajo Nation. Oshkaillah Lakota IronShell, of St. Michaels, A.Z., was also recognized as the 2nd runner-up.