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FARMINGTON — A Farmington girl has been named Miss Indian New Mexico Teen III.

Shenoa Jones, 17, won the title on Oct. 22 in Albuquerque, and as the titleholder, she will serve as an ambassador for the state’s pueblos and tribes.

Serving as an ambassador is not new to Jones, who is a senior at Piedra Vista High School, because she represented Farmington and its Native American community as Miss Indian Farmington from 2014 to 2015.

"I wanted to take that step in representing not only my Navajo people but also people around New Mexico," Jones said in a Nov. 2 interview.

During the competition, contestants were judged on their knowledge of New Mexico history, personal interviews, essay writing and video presentation.

They were also judged on traditional skill, traditional talent, cooking traditional bread, evening gown and answering impromptu questions.

Jones said during her reign, she will advocate for young people to learn about the sacredness and beauty behind Native American cultures and cultural preservation.

"The way I'm preparing myself for that is to learn as much as I can, not only from my parents, grandparents but also from the different tribes," Jones said.

Jones became interested in helping Native American young people after watching the challenges friends and students were experiencing, including poverty and depression, when she attended school in Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle.

"Being part of that generation, it made me want to help them and encourage them to be that backbone. I want to see them grow up and to see them become leaders," she said.

Jones is Tl'ááshchí'i (Red Streaked), born for Bit'ahnii (Leaf People). Her maternal grandfather clan is Tó'aheedlííníí (Water Flow Together Clan), and her parental grandfather clan is Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan).

She is the daughter of Justin and Sherleen Jones of Farmington.

"We always tell her that things are not impossible. The possibility of whether you can do this is always out there," Sherleen said in a Nov. 2 interview.

Sherleen said her and Justin's three children have their support, but they also have to think about long-term goals.

The Farmington Indian Center and Farmington American Indian Ambassador 2016-2017 Anika Henderson have organized a meet-and-greet session for Jones and Miss Northern Navajo Teen 2016-2017 Ariana Young.

Young served as Miss Indian Farmington from 2012 to 2013. She won her current title during the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in October.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, 3041 E. Main St.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

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