Inupiaq Eskimo Woman from Fairbanks Bound for Miss Indian World Pageant
Elizabeth Rexford, 25, will compete in the pageant as part of the annual Gathering of Nations.
In just a few days, a local Alaskan will compete for one of the most prestigious honors in the Native American and indigenous peoples community—Miss Indian World.
Elizabeth Rexford, a 25-year-old Inupiaq Eskimo from Fairbanks has been heavily involved with the native community throughout the years.
But now she is looking to take the tools she has learned in her life to become a role model for indigenous people throughout the world.
“We are looking to be ambassadors of our culture,” said Rexford.
This week, she will compete in the Miss Indian World pageant, which is part of the annual Gathering of Nations, known as the most prominent Native American Powwow in the world.
“A lot of these girls are very involved in their culture, education, and sports and in their communities too," said Rexford. "I believe this will be one of the most amazing weeks and one of the most amazing events that I’ve ever taken part in.”
Twenty-six Native American women representing different tribes and traditions will compete for the title. Contestants will be judged on cultural tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking and personality.
The Miss Indian World will advocate on behalf of indigenous tribes throughout the world, attend powwows, and conferences and be a voice for native peoples and native issues.
As a little girl, Rexford said many of her role models included native activists who would speak at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference.
Regardless of the outcome, Rexford said she's honored to have the chance to represent her state and potentially be a voice for the native community.
The Miss Indian World pageant is set for Thursday, April 28, in New Mexico; the winner will be crowned April 30.