Introducing the New Miss Native American SUUMarch 26, 2009
Southern Utah University is proud to announce the selection of Danielle Jean Nakai as the 2009-10 Miss Native American SUU after last Tuesday night’s pageant. A senior biology major from Blanding, UT, Nakai plans to use her new position and Navajo lineage to increase the University’s exposure to Native American culture. Additionally, the New Miss Native American SUU hopes to inspire the younger Native America generation in the region to believe in themselves and their limitless potential.
According to Nakai, too many young Native Americans are ashamed of their heritage; this pow wow is the SUU Native American Student Association’s way to help others better understand their culture and to publicly stand tall in their ancestry and traditions.”
When questioned by pageant judges as to how she balances her heritage in a predominantly non-Native American society, Nakai responded, “I am not only a woman; I am a Native American Woman.” She continued, “We are a strong people and we should be proud of our heritage no matter what.”
After finishing her final year at SUU as Miss Native American SUU next year, Nakai plans to attend medical school. Her eventual goal is to enhance the medical atmosphere for Native American patients by serving as their doctor and advocate within the larger medical system.
In addition to being an active member in the Native American Student Association at SUU, Nakai works in the University’s Rural Health Scholars program; is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the University’s science honor society; works as a 4-H mentor and participate sin intramural basketball with her fellow students.
Danielle Nakai is from Blanding, Utah, where her parents, Cliff and Denise Tohsonii, still live.