Miss Navajo makes special appearance at annual tribal and cultural event at Tuba City

Tuba City High School royalty with the newly crowned Miss Navajo Nation 2016-17, Ronda Joe.  Miss Navajo is surrounded by student royalty while watching some of the live dance performances at the Tuba City High Warrior Pavilion. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

Tuba City High School royalty with the newly crowned Miss Navajo Nation 2016-17, Ronda Joe. Miss Navajo is surrounded by student royalty while watching some of the live dance performances at the Tuba City High Warrior Pavilion. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

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A Hopi dance group from Upper Moencopi were one of many performances given during Indian Week at Tuba City Unified School District schools. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Even though tribal language and culture are extremely important to Tuba City Unified School District (TCUSD), Indian Week offers students the opportunity to learn from tribal presenters through presentations and cultural activities.

The event emphasizes local tribal practices and features song and dance performances showcasing Navajo and Hopi communities from Tuba City and Moencopi and what the areas offer.

Students heard lectures and presentations by tribally-recognized cultural experts, such as Nicole Horseherder who spoke on “Navajo Clans and their Responsibilities,” Rose Williams on “Traditional Planting of Corn,” Fred Johnson “Water-Tobee’iina” Marie Salt, “Traditional role of Navajo Women,” and Dennis Bedoni “Drum Making: Songsmithing.”

Students asked questions about how traditional practices related to them in a modern world and how traditions can be kept alive and relevant for future generations.

Students gave presentations for their fellow students, including active dances with their fathers, uncles and relatives singing for them in their own language.

Student royalty from all the TCUSD schools, as well as a special appearance by the newly-crowned Miss Navajo Nation Ronda Joe, attended the event Sept. 30 at the Tuba City High School Warrior Pavilion.

This was one of Miss Navajo’s first public appearances at the Western Navajo Agency area.

Joe was recently crowned the newest Miss Navajo Nation in Window Rock in front of a crowd of 12,000 people at their 70th annual Navajo tribal fair in September.

Joe, of the Towering House Clan and born for Where the Water comes Together clan, won the Best Butcher Award in the Miss Navajo sheep butchering competition. She competed against seven contestants who vied for the Navajo Nation crown this year. Joe treated the students to two special songs, she drummed at the Warrior Pavilion and took time to pose with student royalty.

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