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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

2010 Miss Native American UA pageant approaches

Several Native American women at the UA are competing to represent the Native American Community on campus in the Miss Native American University of Arizona Pageant in April.

Candace Begody, a journalism senior and the reigning Miss Native American University of Arizona, said she will pass on her crown April 17.

Women from any Native American tribe are allowed to enter the pageant. The student who is chosen will represent and organize around issues within the Native American student population on campus, Begody said.

“”Miss Native American University of Arizona is an advocate. She’s an advocate for Native American issues. Issues that a lot of people are not aware of,”” she said.

According to the pageant application, Miss Native American University of Arizona was created in order to stress the importance of pursuing a college education while maintaining and practicing Native American traditions.

Begody said the pageant helps Native American students coming from reservations to transition into university life.

“”Where I grew up, the non-Navajo people were the minority, and so coming onto a campus like this, you’re exposed to so many different things,”” she said. “”It sends a message to them that you should be proud — even though you’re away from home, you have a family here and you have these events going on throughout campus, which really promote a positive message about Native culture and Native identity.””

Contestants will be judged on a traditional skill or demonstration, a presentation of career goals, an impromptu question and answer session, an essay and personal interview.

The pageant will also consist of a performance by the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers and an appearance by children’s author and poet, Luci Tapahonso.

Begody said she hopes the pageant will educate the non-Native community about Native issues, as well as bring the Native community together.

“”I think (the pageant) helps to create a safe place,”” she said. “”When I would go to these pageants, I at least saw that there were people who were proud of who we were.””

 

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