“So many memories flooded back to when I was a little girl when I dreamed of becoming Miss Navajo Nation one day. I thought to myself, would this dream finally come true for me.”
The Miss Navajo Nation pageant is one of high importance amongst the Navajo Nation. Miss Navajo is a quintessential representation of her culture and serves as an ambassador for her people promoting education, community well-being, and the preservation of language and traditional life ways.
Contestants endure a week-long competition as they are tested on their fluency in Diné Bizaad (Navajo language), demonstrate traditional skills, perform contemporary talents, and engage in food preparation. Surrounded by her family and determined to represent her Navajo people, Jolyana Begay-Kroupa shares her journey to becoming Miss Navajo Nation.
About the Author:
Jolyana Begay-Kroupa, is originally from Ts’iłdiilyésiitah (Rabbitbrush) near Fort Defiance, AZ. She is Navajo (Diné) born into Tachii’nii (Red Running into the Water People) and born for Tsinaajinii (Black Streak Wood People). Her maternal grandfathers are Yé’ii Dine’é Táchii’nii (Giant People of the Red Running into the Water People). Jolyana honorably served as the 50th Miss Navajo Nation (2001-2002) and currently resides in the Phoenix-Metro area where she is a Director of Development for Phoenix Indian Center. She has a Masters of Arts in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education – emphasis in American Indian Education Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She currently teaches Navajo language classes at Arizona State University and Stanford University. She has also taught for Harvard University and Yale University. Jolyana is married and has three beautiful children.