Publisheed September 2, 2016
TEMPE, ARIZONA—On Saturday night, August 27, 2016, the new Miss Native American USA 2016-17 was crowned in Tempe, Arizona at the 5th Anniversary MNAUSA Scholarship Pageant. Ashley Nailihn Susan, 27-year-old, who is a member of the White Mountain Apache and Walker River Paiute Tribes is from White River, Arizona. Susan speaks English, Apache, and Spanish, and is a current student at Glendale Community College planning on graduating in 2017 with an AS degree to obtain a certificate in linguistic for Spanish. She then plans on transferring to Arizona State University to study Psychology and Bioengineering. She is the daughter of Lloyd and Anne Susan, and a sister to Taylor and Justin Susan. Her message is to spread the importance of physical health among the Native American communities.
Ashley N. Susan, MNAUSA 2016-17 made the following comment after winning the crown:
“The title is a privilege and a responsibility. I want to thank the Miss Native American USA Organization & staff, my mom, dad, sister, and brother for all their support, encouragement and love. This is truly a dream come true. I would like to learn more about the issues and concerns of Native Communities across the nation. Also, how I can help and contribute to the communities even while I continue my education. I will use my voice to encourage our native people that living healthy is a positive lifestyle through good nutrition and exercise, and it can be beneficial and fun for all ages. Exercise and staying active have both short and long term impacts such as feeling great, being balanced in our daily lives physically and mentally with school, work, and family. These are the ingredients for success. This is an exciting time and I hope to represent our Native People across the Nation with honor and dignity. We can do anything we set our minds too. This is doable with handwork, surrounding ourselves in positive environments, and never giving up. I look forward to meeting as many people throughout my reign and visiting as many native communities as possible. Ashoonte!”
The first runner up to Miss Native American USA 2016-17 is Ashley Nichole Sarah Pino, a member of the Acoma Pueblo, Santo Domingo, and Northern Cheyenne Tribes from Acoma, New Mexico. She is the daughter of Paulette Pino and Sadrick Sanchez along with her brother Nicholas Pino. Pino is a graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Sociology/Native American Studies and a current student at Grand Canyon University to obtain her Masters Degree.
The second runner up to Miss Native American USA 2016-17 is Danya Sancia Carroll, a member of theWhite Mountain Apache and the Navajo Tribes. Carroll is from Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona. She is the daughter of Orlando and Carroll Wilcepa with younger brother and a younger sister. Carroll obtained a Bachelors degree in Microbiology from the University of Arizona and an MPH in Community Health Education from Colorado School of Public Health.
MNAUSA’s mission is dedicated to recognizing and honoring Native American women throughout the United States. We encourage Indigenous women in achieving 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.