‘We did it, Eastern Agency!’

Autumn Montoya wins Miss Navajo Nation crown

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times

TSÉHOOTSOOÍ

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Autumn Judith Montoya, 21, from Na’neelzhiin, New Mexico, is the new Miss Navajo Nation.

When former Miss Navajo Crystal Littleben brought the Naabeehó Bich’eekį’ crown case onto the stage and began removing her crown, everybody knew it was time to announce the new ambassador of the Navajo Nation.

“Shi éiyá shitah hoditłid,” said Jocelyn Billy-Upshaw, who experienced this very moment when she was crowned Miss Navajo 12 years ago.

“We have the crown case here and Ms. Crystal’s ready to go,” said Pax Harvey, master of ceremonies of the Miss Navajo Coronation Saturday evening at the Fighting Scouts Event Center. “She’s taking off her crown, loosening it up, getting it ready.”

When 23-year-old Kayla B. Martinez from Tségháhoodzání was named second runner-up, it was either 25-year-old Summer J. Jake from Goat Springs, Arizona, or 21-year-old Autumn Judith Montoya from Na’neelzhiin, New Mexico.

“Drum roll, drum roll,” Harvey asked the audience. “Stomp your feet!”

When Jake was named the first runner-up, Montoya’s jaw dropped in surprise as she stepped back to draw a massive breath. Since there were only three contestants, Montoya realized she had won the coveted title.

Breathing heavily, Montoya covered her mouth with the dáábalii, her Pendleton shawl, hanging off her left arm.


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