Welcome, Miss Navajo Nation 2021-2022!
Niagara Rockbridge, 22 years old from Piñon, Arizona, has been crowned Miss Navajo Nation 2021-2022. Niagara is of the Towering House Clan, born for Wild Banana Fruit Clan. Her maternal grandmothers are of the Wandering People Clan, and her paternal grandparents are of the Near the Water Clan. Niagara’s parents are Deborah and Gary Rockbridge.
The role of Miss Navajo Nation is to exemplify the essence and characters of First Woman, White Shell Woman, and Changing Woman and to display leadership as the Goodwill Ambassador in maintaining the Navajo tradition and culture. Miss Navajo speaks as a leader, counselor, advisor, teacher, and a friend as she represents womanhood and fulfills many roles as “sister, aunt, mother, and grandmother” to the Navajo people. The preservation of the Navajo culture was agreed upon being one of the fundamental principles of the Navajo Governmental by the Branch Chiefs of the Navajo Government in March of 1999. The Office of Miss Navajo Nation has a mission to encourage every Navajo in assisting in the preservation of Navajo culture. Miss Navajo Nation’s duty is to represent the importance of Navajo Women with honor and respect.
Niagara holds titles for Miss Indian Arizona 2018-19, Miss Teen Navajo 2015-16, and Miss Central Navajo Pre-Teen 2010-11. On Monday, September 6th, the pageant for Miss Navajo Nation 2021-2022 started with butchering and traditional food contests. The pageant continued for a few days with a business and traditional interview along with the contemporary, traditional talent and skill. On Saturday, September 11, the pageant ended with a coronation where they announced the new Miss Navajo, Niagara Rockbridge. Niagara was ahead of the competition as she won best traditional food, best essay, best butcher, and Miss Photogenic.
The coronation was a welcome to the new Miss Navajo, Niagara Rockbridge but it was also a farewell to Miss Navajo Nation 2019-21 Shaandiin Parrish as she gave an emotional goodbye. Shaandiin was originally only supposed to hold her title as Miss Navajo Nation until 2020 but due to the pandemic, she held the title for two years as no pageant was held in 2020. Shaandiin was awarded a silver pin designed with the Miss Navajo logo as well as her years of service by the president’s office. All Miss Navajo titleholders are given this pin once they complete their reign.
“In my time as Miss Navajo Nation, my goal was to love our people in any way, every way, every single day, that was what I wanted to do. I hope through the actions of my time as Miss Navajo Nation that you all have seen that love that I have for our people.”Shaandiin Parrish
The new Miss Navajo Nation, Niagara Rockbridge hopes to continue the legacy Shaandiin has left. She wants to continue the work, strengthen the partnerships within the divisions and departments. She wants to keep being the beacon of hope for her people and continue the relationship between the Office of Miss Navajo and the rest of the Navajo Nation.
“This title means so much to me and just holding the title within itself and winning the categories that I did, it’s such an honor. I am so humbled to be in this position and I look forward to the rest of the year.”Niagara Rockbridge