San Juan College crowns Ms. Indigenous San Juan College 2022-23.

Ms. Indigenous 2022 Jayme Begay

Congratulations to San Juan College student Jaymie Begay (Diné) who was recently crowned Ms. Indigenous San Juan College 2022-23. Nikeisha Kee (Diné) was first runner-up.

Introducing herself in her native language, she says, “Yá’át’ééh Shí eí Jaymie Anna Rose Begay Yinishyé. Naashtʼéshí diné nishtį́ (I am the Zuni Clan). Táchiiʼnii báshíshchíín (I am born for the Red Running into the water). Ashįįhi dashicheii (my maternal grandfather clan is salt people clan). Naakʼaii Dinéʼé dashinálí (My paternal grandfather clan is The Mexican Clan).”

Begay is a 2020 graduate of Kirtland Central High School. She is studying Native American Studies. Upon completion of her associate degree, she wants to continue her education so that she can become a Navajo teacher, with special emphasis on Diné language and culture.

Winning Platform puts Focus on Youth

Begay’s platform as Ms. Indigenous San Juan College is to focus on youth, getting them involved with their Native culture. “Our culture and language are fading, so I want to keep our language alive. I also want to place awareness around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.”

During the pageant, Begay demonstrated kneel down bread as her traditional food demonstration. For her contemporary talent she explained the Navajo Basket Dance and then performed the dance.

Ms. Indigenous San Juan College Dates Back Several Decades

Since its creation, the Ms. Indigenous San Juan College pageant has formed a legacy of Indigenous women’s voices and sisterhood of title holders who have served the San Juan College community and their respective cultures and traditions. Traditionally, the pageant aligns with the annual powwow with the coronation taking place on the final night of the powwow. This year, the powwow was a one-day event, with the pageant taking place the following week, as its own event. The Native American Center coordinates the pageant and the powwow with the help of students, staff, faculty and community members. The selection of Ms. Indigenous San Juan College rests on the judges’ panel made up of former title holders, area royalty and members of the San Juan College community. Begay’s reign will run through the fall of 2023.

For more information about the San Juan College Native American Center, including programming, services and tribal scholarships, contact or 505-566-3321.