TitleHolders Chronicles

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."— Oscar Wilde

History of Title Name

The following is the transition of the title of Miss Navajo.

  • Miss Navajo
  • Miss Traditional Navajo
  • Miss Modern Navajo
  • Miss Navajo
  • Miss Navajo Nation

Miss Navajo Bios and Photos

1953 - 1959

Miss Navajo 1952 - 1953 - Dr. Beulah Melvin Allen, M.D.

The first Miss Navajo, Dr. Beulah Melvin Allen, was crowned in 1952. Back then, the pageant winner was selected by attendants at the Navajo Nation Fair, an annual event usually held in September. The contestant that received the loudest applause won.

Miss Navajo 1953 - 1954 - Ida Gail Organick

Miss Navajo 1954 - 1955 - Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone
Miss Navajo 1955 - 1956 - Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone
Miss Navajo 1956 - 1957 - Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone

Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone was the only Miss Navajo to hold the title 3 times. Currently, there is now a rule set in place that an individual can not hold the Miss Navajo title more than once.

Miss Navajo 1957 - 1958
Miss Traditional Navajo: Emma Louise Anderson
Miss Modern Navajo: Geraldine Morgan Pete

Miss Navajo 1958 - 1959
Miss Traditional Navajo: Dorothy Curtis Fixico
Miss Modern Navajo: Vivian Linda Arviso

Miss Navajo 1959 - 1960
Miss Traditional Navajo: Elsie Curley Raymond
Miss Modern Navajo: Joy Jean Sells Hanley

1960 - 1969

Miss Navajo 1960 - 1961
Miss Traditional Navajo: Bernice Skeet
Miss Modern Navajo: Roseanne Kellywood Bahe

Miss Navajo 1961 - 1962
Miss Traditional Navajo: Lois Haskie Kansaswood
Miss Modern Navajo: Dr. Alyse Neundrof

Miss Navajo 1962 - 1963
Miss Traditional Navajo: Emma Joe
Miss Modern Navajo: Rowena Yazzie McCabe

Miss Navajo 1963 - 1964 - Anna Mae Begay Fowler

Miss Navajo 1964 - 1965 - Sally Ann Zah Joe

Miss Navajo 1965 - 1966 - Carol Ann Yazzie Showalter

Miss Navajo 1966 - 1967 - Sarah Ann Johnson Luther

Miss Navajo 1967 - 1968 - Thelma Pablo Francisco

Miss Navajo 1968 - 1969 - Rose McCabe Wauneka

Miss Navajo 1969 - 1970 - Rose Ann Bekis Kenneth

1970 - 1979

Miss Navajo 1970 - 1971 - Linda Hanove Schweigman

Miss Navajo 1971 - 1972 - Genevieve Lee Salt

Miss Navajo 1972 - 1973 - Janet Yazzie Caller

Miss Navajo 1973 - 1974 - Delphine Curley Ludlum

Miss Navajo 1974 - 1975 - Gilene Begay

Miss Navajo 1975 - 1976 - Angela Barney Nez

Miss Navajo 1976 - 1977 - Rosita Tsosie Holiday

Rosita Tsosie Holiday was born in Ganado, Arizona on September 11 to Joe and Bonnie Tsosie. Born to Bit’ahnii and for To’baaha. The second clans are Tsi’naajinii and ashii. She is the second oldest in her family.

To her family and friends, she is known as Rosie. Rosie attended schools in Utah, AZ, and NM. She graduated from Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona. She also attended Brigham Young University and BYU-Laie and studied education.

Rosie was chosen as “Miss Western Navajo” in 1976 and represented the Tuba City agency. She competed for “Miss Navajo Nation” that same year and won. She represented the Navajo Nation for one year.

Rosie is married to Kee H. Holiday and they are parents to 4 children. They have 9 grandchildren.

Rosie loves to read, sew and cook.

Rosie has been employed with Kayenta Health Center for 23 years.

Miss Navajo 1977 - 1978 - Marilyn Help Hood

Miss Navajo 1978 - 1979 - Bobby Bia

Miss Navajo 1979 - 1980 - Freda Jeli Nells

1980 - 1989

Miss Navajo 1980 - 1981 - Sandra Eriacho

Miss Navajo 1981 - 1982 - Dr. Dolly Manson

Miss Navajo 1982 - 1983 - Sunny Dooley

Miss Navajo 1983 - 1984 - Shirley Paulson

Miss Navajo 1984 - 1985 - Lorene Lewis

Miss Navajo 1985 - 1986 - Audra A. Arviso

Miss Navajo 1986 - 1987 - Diane Taylor

Miss Navajo 1987 - 1988 - Wena Jesus Nez

Wena Jesus ei Ashii,hi nili, To‘ahani yashshiin, Dibelizhini da bicheii do Tsi'naajinii da binali. She became one of the privileged young ladies in 1987 when she was selected as Miss Navajo Nation. Her favorite jobs have been; elementary and special education teacher. As a teacher, she has had wonderful opportunities to create lifelong relationships with students and their families. She feels she was blessed to have had the chance to be there at that critical point in their lives. She continues to feel fortunate in providing self-reliance services in her current role as a development counselor. She assists people to learn to support themselves by developing employable skills, receiving needed training, and preparing for careers.

Wena has indicated, "The prospect of working together with individuals to teach and guide them to become a willing participant to change their perspectives and transform their lives is extremely wonderful and gratifying." In her earlier years, Wena has absorbed the Navajo traditional philosophy/teaching of "T'aa hwo' ajit' eego" from her parents, Martha and Wayne Jesus. Wena's family has planted vegetables and fruits at their summer camp and she has continued this tradition with her children. Wena has raised her five children in the midst of working; mending fences, hauling water, gathering woods, and planting for the winter. Her family has increased to seven with a Mexican son-in-law and an adorable grandson. She is looking forward to increasing her family with the prospects of having more hands to support their lives in self-sufficiency.

Miss Navajo 1988 - 1989 - Sophina Shorty Brown

Miss Navajo 1989 - 1990 - Geraldine Gamble

1990 - 1999

Miss Navajo 1990 - 1991 - Jennifer Jackson Wheeler

Miss Navajo 1991 - 1992 - Sharon Watson Murray

Miss Navajo 1992 - 1993 - Tina James Tafoya

Miss Navajo 1993 - 1994 - Tara Tsosie

Miss Navajo 1994 - 1995 - Karen Leuppe

Miss Navajo 1995 - 1996 - Audra J. Etsitty Platero

Miss Navajo 1996 - 1997 - Josephine Ann Tracey

Photo by Robert Doyle Photography

Miss Navajo 1997 - 1998 - Radmilla A. Cody

Clans: Tłááschí'í (Red Ochre on Cheeks People or Red Bottom People) Nishłi
Naahiłii (African American) Bashishchiin

Nakai Diné'é (Mexican People Clan) Dashicheii/Maternal Grandparents
Naahiłii (African American) Dashinali/Paternal Grandparents

Miss Navajo 1998 - 1999 - Sevaleah Begay

Miss Navajo 1999 - 2000 - Victoria Yazzie

2000 - 2009

Miss Navajo 2000 - 2001 - Dr. Karletta Chief

Miss Navajo 2001 - 2002 - Jolyana Begay

Jolyana Begay, Miss Navajo Nation 2001-2002 is originally from Ts'ildiilyesiitah (Rabbitbrush) near Fort Defiance, AZ. She is Tachii'nii born for Tsi'naajinii. Her maternal grandfather's are Tl'aashchi'i and her paternal grandfathers are Ye'ii Dine'e Tachii'nii. Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, she is a product of the Fort Defiance Dine Bi'olta' Navajo Immersion Program and can read, write, and speak her Native Navajo language. Jolyana, who served as the 50th Miss Navajo Nation, has been serving as an educator in the Phoenix-Metro area since 2004. She serves as a Program Manager for Phoenix Indian Center. Jolyana also serves as a language instructor with Arizona State University where she teaches Beginning and Intermediate Navajo courses.

Jolyana received her Master's of Arts in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education with an emphasis in American Indian Education Policy from Arizona State University. She also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a Navajo Language endorsement from ASU. She continues to advocate on the importance of language revitalization through teaching the Navajo language and various presentations.

Miss Navajo 2002 - 2003 - Shaunda Tsosie

Miss Navajo 2003 - 2004 - Marla Billey

Marla Billey is Tachii’nii born for Naakaii Dine’e and her grandfathers are Hooghan lani and Tl’izidaalchi’i. She is originally from Sanostee, NM, Tablemesa area within the Northern Navajo Area. After her year as Miss Navajo she worked for the Office of the President & Vice-President while continuing her education with Diné College where she received her A.A. in Dine Studies and Liberal Arts, then worked with Fleet Management, and Nabinahaazlaago Initiative-Judicial Branch.

She received her BS in Management from New Mexico Tech on May 2014. Also she works part-time at IRIS/PASSCAL (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology/Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere).

Miss Navajo 2004 - 2005 - Jannalee Atcitty

Miss Navajo 2005 - 2006 - Rachelle James

Miss Navajo 2006 - 2007 - Jocelyn Billy

Miss Navajo 2007 - 2008 - Jonathea Tso

Miss Navajo 2008 - 2009 - Yolanda Charley

Miss Navajo 2009 - 2010 - Tashina Nelson

2010 - 2019

Miss Navajo Nation 2010 - 2011 - Winifred Bessie Jumbo

Miss Navajo Nation 2011 - 2012 - Crystalyne Curley

Miss Navajo Nation 2012 - 2013 - Leandra Thomas

Miss Navajo Nation 2013 - 2014 - Natasha Hardy

Miss Navajo Nation 2014 – 2015 - McKeon K. Dempsey

Yá’át’ééh ałtaał’áásiiłgóó, shik’éí dóó shidiné’é, shihastóí, shizáanii. McKeon K. Dempsey dashijiní. Ádoone’é ígíí éí Kiiya’áanii Dine’é nishłí dóó Tsédeeshgiizhnii Dine’é bashíshchíín. Áádóó Tódích’íi’nii Dine’é éí dashicheii dóó Biih Bitoodnii Dine’é éí dahshinálí. Ákwót’áo Diné asdzání nishłí.

Hello everyone, my family, and my relatives. My name is McKeon K. Dempsey. I am the Towering House Clan, born for the Rock Gap People Clan. My maternal grandfather’s clan is the Bitter Water Clan, and my paternal grandfather’s clan is the Deer Spring Clan. I am the youngest of four children with one older brother and two older sisters. I was raised by my loving mother, the late Marilyn J. Dempsey. My late grandmother and grandfather are Katie and Roy Dempsey of Oak Springs, Arizona. I am also blessed to have the teachings of my mother's siblings, my three aunts and five uncles. I am 25 years old.

I graduated from Window Rock High School in 2008 and accepted into Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in 2012 in Studio Arts with a minor in Art History. My mother and family were very supportive of my career choice and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Through my experiences in college, I began to see art as a tool that when used in a positive way can change lives. I learned and gained the skills to create, and tell my stories. During that time, I also thought about how I could give back to my community, and how I could introduce art to my community to build relations with people through their own experiences and stories.

I believe strongly in the resiliency of the Diné language and its inherent teachings as well as the impact that art can have on culture, and vice-versa. As the 2014-2015 Miss Navajo Nation, I would like to use those teachings to engage the talents of our youth with the opportunity to express culture, language, and tradition through artistic outlets. I would like to contribute to the mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being of Naabeehó Diné. My hope for the Navajo Nation in carrying out my platform is to continue seeking happiness and a healthy life, learning from one another.

I plan to further my education after my full reign as Miss Navajo Nation and earn a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy. My hope is to build a foundation for my long-term goal to advance the well-being and health of the Navajo Nation with an art therapy clinic for youth and veterans undergoing post-traumatic stress disorders.

As Naabeehó Diné, it is in our blood and clanship to live by what we create as beings. It is important for the future generation of Diné youth to speak their language proudly, and to use imagination to create and visualize accomplishments. I hope to contribute to the leadership and strength of the Diné while promoting the importance of education. I will contribute my knowledge and experiences as a scholar of fine arts to motivate self-esteem, independence, and self-determination. I would like to expose more art into the community as a tool for healing, creation, and self-expressing. In my experience, art provides a skill that engages others in learning and teaching.

I am humbled to be your Miss Navajo Nation 2014 – 2015 and look forward to serving as your Goodwill Ambassador for the Navajo Nation.

Ahéhee’,

McKeon K. Dempsey

Miss Navajo Nation 2015 - 2016 - Alyson Jeri Shirley

Once again, we are seeking your biographies. We would like a 250 word or less essay of the event(s) you would like to feature in your biography. These events do not have to focus solely on your title year. They can include any event in your life you are willing to share with the public. If you have any photos, you are welcome to share those too.

Donations Welcome

Payable to:
Miss Navajo Council
Mail to:
P.O. Box 1878, Window Rock, AZ 86515



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