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Idaho woman crowned Miss Indian World at Gathering of Nations

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Taylor Thomas, center, of Fort Hall, Idaho, (Shoshone Bannock tribe) was crowned 2014 Miss Indian World at the 31th annual Gathering of Nations powwow. Megan Leary, left, of Napaimute, Alaska, (Native Village of Napaimute) was named the first runner-up and Danielle Ta Sheena Finn, right, of Bismarck, N.D., (Standing Rock Sioux tribe) was named the second runner-up. (Courtesy of Gathering of Nations)

Taylor Thomas, center, of Fort Hall, Idaho, (Shoshone Bannock tribe) was crowned 2014 Miss Indian World at the 31th annual Gathering of Nations powwow. Megan Leary, left, of Napaimute, Alaska, (Native Village of Napaimute) was named the first runner-up and Danielle Ta Sheena Finn, right, of Bismarck, N.D., (Standing Rock Sioux tribe) was named the second runner-up. (Courtesy of Gathering of Nations)

Taylor Thomas of Fort Hall, Idaho, was crowned Miss Indian World at the 31st annual Gathering of Nations powwow, event officials announced late Saturday.

Thomas, a 21-year-old Idaho State University student, is a member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe.

Twenty three Native American women representing their different tribes and traditions competed in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking and personality assessment, according to an event news release.

“Thomas will travel the world educating others about tribal and cultural traditions, and bring together native and indigenous people,” said Melonie Mathews, the pageant coordinator.

Thomas will serve as a “cultural goodwill ambassador” for a year.

First runner-up at the pageant was 23-year-old Megan Leary of Napaimute, Alaska, a member of the Native Village of Napaimute. She attends the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

And the second runner-up was Danielle Ta’ Sheena Finn of Bismarck, N.D., a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Finn, 23, graduated from Minot State University in Minot, N.D.

The three-day Gathering of Nations powwow concluded Saturday at University Arena in Albuquerque. Members of about 700 tribes attend the event that filled the Pit with drumming, singing and dancing.

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