Rio Rancho resident Kansas Begaye was named Miss Indian World at the annual Gathering of Nations, which took place last weekend in Albuquerque.
Begaye, a Navajo Nation member, was among 16 American Indian women representing their different tribes and traditions who competed for the honor in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing, public speaking and personality.
Begaye graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2011.
“Miss Indian World is one of the most prestigious honors in the Native American and indigenous world and the winner will serve as a role model for all Native Americans,” Melonie Mathews, coordinator of the Miss Indian World Pageant, said in a news release. “Begaye will travel the world educating others about tribal and cultural traditions, and bring together native and indigenous people.”
Begaye will travel to many native and indigenous communities around the world on behalf of the powwow, the news release reads. The 24-year-old is the daughter of Dorothy and Leonard Begaye.
“As Miss Indian World, she will represent all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador for one year,” according to the news release.