New Miss Navajo Nation selected during Sept. 11 ceremony in Window Rock

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Niagara Rockbridge, center, was selected as the 2021-2021 Miss Navajo Nation during a Sept. 11 ceremony at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.

FARMINGTON — A new Miss Navajo Nation was selected on Sept. 11 after last year’s pageant was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Niagara Rockbridge, 22, of Pinon and Cottonwood/Tselani communities in Arizona, was announced as the 2021-2022 Miss Navajo Nation during a virtual ceremony held in the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, according to a Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President news release.

Rockbridge, along with Oshkaillah IronShell and Shandiin Yazzie, were vying for the title of Miss Navajo Nation during the first pageant since the 2020 contest was canceled during to the pandemic.

President Jonathan Nez congratulated the three contestants for their hard work during what he described as the most prestigious cultural pageant in the world.

“Congratulations to the new Miss Navajo Nation, Niagara Rockbridge, her family, and everyone who supported her through the competition. We are confident that you will serve and represent our Diné people with great honor, strength, and compassion,” Nez said.

Miss Navajo Nation 2021-2022 contestant Niagara Rockbridge answers questions from a pageant judge while cleaning small intestines during the sheep butchering event on Sept. 6 in Window Rock, Arizona.

Yazzie, of St. Michaels, Ariz., was selected as the first runner-up.

The Daily Times documented the sheep butchering contest earlier this week, which is one of several categories the women compete in.

They also take part in events including traditional foods competition along with a contemporary and traditional talents and skills competition.

Outgoing Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin Parrish is only the second Miss Navajo to hold the title for more than one year. Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone was the first. She served from 1954 to 1957.

Rockbridge previously told The Daily Times she hopes to continue Parrish’s community outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e

More:Hopefuls compete this week in 69th Miss Navajo Nation Pageant in Window Rock