Published August 30, 2017
MESA, ARIZONA – Autumn Rose Miskweminanocsqua (Raspberry Star Woman) Williams
from the Shinnecock Nation located in Southampton, New York was crowned Miss Native American USA 2017-2018. Chanelle Amber-Dawn Tilden from Klagetoh, Arizona, a member of the Navajo nation won first runner up and Jalene Kanayurak from Barrow, Alaska, a member of the Inupiaq Tribe received second runner up.
Miss Native American USA’s platform spreads the message of indigenous women’s empowerment. The platform focuses on identity, connection to culture, balancing tribal societal values and American societal values and encouraging one another. The 24 year-old pageant winner earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Mass Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Business from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently works as the marketing and
communications assistant at Peconic Land Trust, a non-profit organization that conserves Long Island’s
working farms, natural lands, and heritage for our communities now and in the future.
The Miss Native American USA organization’s mission is to encourage Native American women to
achieve their personal goals, build character, enhance self-esteem and develop leadership skills. The 6th
anniversary of the Miss Native American USA Scholarship Pageant had a total of 7 contestant. Each
contestant brought a new message and a diverse background. The contestants represented Native
American women from across the country, including the Seminole Tribe, Navajo Nation, Hualapi Tribe,
Inupiaq Tribe and San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Williams is our first contestant from New York, representing northeastern culture. She hopes to spread
as much awareness with her platform but also create a cultural exchange.
“It’s still sinking in,” says Williams. “I’m so happy to be crowned Miss Native American USA 2017 – 2018, it’s something I’ve dreamed of since I first attended a national pageant. My experience in tonight’s
pageant was amazing I learned so much from each and every one of the young women I met.”
“Learning about the multitudes of indigenous communities is an important part of empowerment, unity
and education. I felt that tonight and it was powerful. I learned from each contestant and we all
encouraged each other to do and be our best!”
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