Miss Native American USA 2015 = 2016 Kristina Lynn Hyatt
Published August 26, 2015
TEMPE, ARIZONA — Kristina Lynn Hyatt was crowned the new Miss Native American USA last Saturday at the annual Miss Native American USA Pageant in Tempe, Arizona. The 26-year-old is a tribal citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from Cherokee, North Carolina.
A former Miss Cherokee titleholder, Hyatt holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management from the University of North Carolina Asheville and received an Associates Degree in Applied Science – dental hygiene from Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. She is a dental hygienist and her mission is to educate the Native American communities about the importance of dental hygiene. She is the daughter of Lavon and Gloria Hyatt of North Carolina.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States, who are descended from the small group of 800 Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States after the Indian Removal Act moved the other 15,000 Cherokee to the west in the 19th century.
“As a Cherokee dental hygienist I hope to share my knowledge and help create beautiful, healthy smiles throughout Indian Country. Smiles create confidence and confidence creates success. As Native Americans we have the potential to do anything we set our minds to. Always remember that with God ALL things are possible,” said MNAUSA Kristina Hyatt.
The first attendant was 27-year-old Kansas Begaye of the Navajo/Dine’ Tribe. Begaye is from Waterflow, New Mexico, an award winning Native American Recording Artist and a former Miss Indian World title holder. Begaye received her Bachelor’s Degree in Native American Studies from the University of New Mexico and currently pursing a Master’s in American Indian Law. Begaye’s message is to promote cultural preservation along with higher education among Indigenous youth.
The second attendant was19-year-old Aliyah Chavez of the Santo Domingo Pueblo Tribe. Chavez is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico but currently calls Palo Alto, California home as she is a student at Stanford University. Chavez hasn’t declared her major but is thinking of double majoring in Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity and also Communications. Her message is to focus on positive representation of Native Americans in the media which includes mascot changes and being an advocate for land issues.
The Miss Native American USA’s mission is dedicated to recognizing and honoring Native American women throughout the United States. The pageant encourages Indigenous women to achieve their personal goals, build characters, enhance self-esteem, and develop leadership skills alongside giving back to our Native communities through volunteering. MNAUSA helps promote, address, support, and collaborate in areas of continuing education, domestic violence, alcohol & drugs, suicide prevention, teenage pregnancy, youth violence, AIDS prevention, diabetes prevention and intervention in urban and Native Americans communities.
Photo by Roshan – www.roshanspottsville.com