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Dziłíjiin native crowned Miss Navajo Nation

Dziłíjiin native crowned Miss Navajo Nation


A childhood dream came true for Valentina Clitso.

The Black Mesa, Arizona, native was crowned 2022-23 Miss Navajo Nation on Saturday night at the Window Rock Sports Center during the 74th Navajo Nation Fair.

Clitso, 25, said becoming Miss Navajo was fulfilling for the “younger” her.

“I’m really proud of myself because it was younger me that wanted to become Miss Navajo, and it’s me today here,” she said.

Clitso won four Miss Navajo competition categories — sheep butchering, traditional foods, best essay, and Navajo best skill, in which she said she demonstrated how to dye sheep wool.

For her essay, Clitso said language and traditions formed the foundation of her essay.

“I really thought about our people and how we really need to have faith in ourselves and have faith in our youth that we are able to continue our language and continue our traditions,” she said.

Some of her plans as the Navajo people’s ambassador is to encourage the youth to engage with their elders.

“Our elders are only here very briefly, and I really hope that they can experience the love in our language, and just hear the words like ‘shiyázhí’ and ‘she’awéé’’ and just experience those feelings that our language can provide,” she said on Saturday night.

Briana Davis, 22, from Many Farms, and Gypsy Pete, 25, from Rock Point, also competed for the coveted title.

Davis got second runner-up, and Pete got first runner-up. Pete also won miss photogenic, and Davis won miss congeniality and best traditional and contemporary.

Clitso is Tódích’íi’nii and born for Bit’ahnii. Her maternal grandfather is Tó’áhání, and her paternal grandfather is Áshįįhí.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is assistant editor of the Navajo Times, and an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at


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