Taylor Thomas, 21, was crowned Miss Indian World on April 26 at the 31st Annual Gathering of Nations pow wow at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
The Idaho State University student is a member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe, and was chosen out of 23 Native American women who competed in tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking and personality assessment.
She succeeds Kansas Begaye from Waterflow, New Mexico.
“Miss Indian World is one of the most prestigious honors in the Native American and indigenous world and the winner will serve as a role model for all Native Americans," Melonie Mathews, coordinator of the Miss Indian World Pageant, told the Idaho State Journal. "Thomas will travel the world educating others about tribal and cultural traditions, and bring together native and indigenous people."
Megan Leary, 23, of Napaimute, Alaska, was named first runner-up and Danielle Ta’ Sheena Finn, 23, of Bismarck, North Dakota, was named second runner-up.Thomas will also serve as a cultural goodwill ambassador for a year.