Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, July 12

Statement regarding unfit Miss USA from 2006 Miss New Mexico USA Onawa Lacy

I am thoroughly disappointed with the Miss Universe Organization's (MUO's) decision to continue Tara Conner's reign as Miss USA 2006. Being an experienced titleholder, having respect for yourself, your title, and your constituents is a part of the responsibilities you accept, and it is obvious [that] engaging in excessive drinking, illegal drugs, and promiscuous behavior would bring nothing but disgrace and dishonor. Tara's actions reflect poorly also on the women who competed with her for the title of Miss USA. Within the "2006 Miss USA class," there were many qualified, legitimate, responsible, and mature women who would have loved to become Miss USA and would have served with pride, honesty, and respect. Additionally, the fact Tara is being compared to Vanessa Williams is not exactly accurate. [The t]ruth is, Tara's highly inappropriate behavior was committed during her reign knowing fully what was expected and clearly stated within the contract we all signed if we were to become Miss USA. MUO's non-action is also reflective of the [Organization's] questionable standards of their perception of a Miss USA representative with "high standards". I share my opinion with many other state titleholders that Tara should have been fired and Tamiko Nash (Miss California) be crowned Miss USA. Tamiko Nash is a captivating, respectable, amazing woman who would have done an incredible job as our representative. Lastly, while I proudly represented the great State of New Mexico, Native America and the United States during my reign, I and other 2006 Miss USA contestants, now question our participation within the MUO organization in light of the decision to keep an obviously unfit Miss USA representative who is now going to rehab.

Editor's note: Miss Lacy, Diné, is originally from Gallup, N.M. She is a 2006 graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in English (Pre-law concentration) and Native American studies. She is a former Miss Indian World (2003-04) and successfully completed her reign as Miss New Mexico USA. Miss Lacy is the first Native American to win the title of Miss New Mexico USA and worked on youth related issues and breast cancer prevention awareness initiatives during her reign. She is presently living and working as a law intern in Washington, D.C.

In a follow-up telephone conversation with Miss Lacy on Dec. 20, 2006, she reiterated her original statement, stating that she was "disheartened" to learn of the decision to have Tara Conner keep her Miss USA title. Lacy added that her reign as Miss New Mexico USA was "all about the people," a philosophy she adopted during her reign as Miss Indian World. It's a philosophy she still follows today. She stated that as Miss USA, Conner is representing all of America-Native America included-and that her actions "disrespected so many people" and "tainted the crown" to where she and other titleholders have essentially "lost faith" in the Miss USA organization and what the title of Miss USA is supposed to represent.

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