FARMINGTON — Dressed in a traditional rug dress, Shenoa Jones was crowned Miss Indian Farmington on Friday night at the Farmington Civic Center.
Shortly after winning the title, Jones was flooded with hugs from fellow contestants and previous Miss Indian Farmington winners.
The pageant started in 2006, and the titleholder represents the city's Native American community and serves as the city's ambassador, Farmington Indian Center director Myra Newman said.
To compete, contestants must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, be between 12 to 18 years old and reside in Farmington.
The contemporary talent competition started with Jones, who talked about short films and video editing.
Jones, 14, explained her interest in filmmaking and used a PowerPoint presentation to display the steps she uses to edit and develop videos. She showed a short video clip and explained that additional features can be added.
"To spice it up a little, we'll add a little music to it," Jones said, adding the song, "Counting Stars," by OneRepublic.
She also showed two videos she recently completed. One was a commercial for a homemade soda product, and the other was based on the "Harlem Shake" in a hogan.
Contestant Deeann Lee stood center stage, dressed in a T-shirt with "Marines" printed on the front and fatigue pants.
Lee, 17, read the poem "Phenomenal Woman" by the late author Maya Angelou and then spoke about U.S. Marine Corps veteran Minnie Spotted Wolf. Spotted Wolf was the first Native American woman to enlist in the Marine Corps and was a member of the Blackfoot tribe, Lee explained.
After talking about Spotted Eagle, Lee shared information about her grandfather's service in the Army. She said she wants to follow in his footsteps after graduating from Farmington High School in 2015.
"I want to be able to call myself a Marine," Lee said.
Also vying for the crown were sisters Kaitlyn and Kayla O'Jaye.
At 13, Kaitlyn O'Jaye was the youngest contestant and demonstrated how to make flower pens and pins. After setting up a demonstration table, she explained the best pens to use are made by Bic and the first step is wrapping the pen in green floral tape. As her hands wrapped the pen, she continued to explain the steps involved. When Kaitlyn O'Jaye was finished, the pen had transformed into a pink artificial flower, which she added to a glass jar to make a boutique.
Kayla O'Jaye, 16, followed her younger sister and talked about her science project, which focused on the level of sugar content found in Native foods, such as corn stem and blue corn mush.
As part of her discussion, she also explained the scientific method.
"Native foods, I know you guys love it, but you should have a minimum of it," Kayla said, explaining her results showed high amounts of sugar are found in Native foods.
The science fair medals she wore were from placing in her school's competition, along with the Navajo Nation Science Fair and the Arizona State/National Science and Engineering Fair.
Contestants were also asked questions about contemporary life and Navajo tradition, and there was a cultural talent competition.
Outgoing Miss Indian Farmington Farrah Rose Duncan showed a slideshow of her year of service, which included photographs of her appearing at various local and regional events.
"I tried my hardest," Duncan said. "That's the most important things I want you to know."Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.