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The first Miss Navajo was Dr. Beulah Melvin Allen, in 1952. She was crowned at the Navajo Nation Fair, the largest fair held on the Navajo Nation, which had been established three years earlier.
Pageant contestants must be unmarried, over 18 years of age, be a high school graduate, and be able to speak the Navajo language. They compete in such activities as answering questions about traditional and modern Navajo customs both in Navajo and English, sheep butchering, and performing a contemporary and Navajo cultural talent.
A documentary film called Miss Navajo, directed by Billy Luther (who is Navajo, Hopi, and Laguna), was filmed in 2005 and 2006, released in 2006, and shown on the Independent Lens documentary series on PBS in 2007. Miss Navajo is a sacred tradition that still continues today. Miss Navajo's duties as a leader are to guide and be a role model of the Navajo Nation.
- Miss Navajo Council, Inc official site
- Miss Navajo film
- MISS NAVAJO site for Independent Lens on PBS
- Times, Navajo (Sep 13, 2015). "69th Miss Navajo Nation is Alyson Jeri Shirley". Native News Online. Retrieved 27 September 2015.