The 55th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program came to an end with the crowning of Shaandiin Paul Parrish of the Navajo Tribe. She was crowned as Miss Indian Arizona, 2016-17 on October 8th at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Shaandiin is the 22 year old daughter of Shelly Parrish and Timothy Begay and has one brother and one sister. She is attending Arizona State University and plans to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service and Public Policy. Shaandiin serves on the ASU American Indian Council and is a past Miss Indian Arizona 2nd Attendant. She also received the awards for Talent and Oral Presentation.
Although Shaandiin was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation she is not fluent in the Navajo language. To be fluent is her greatest educational and personal goal. She completes in pageants to improve her public speaking abilities, to practice the Navajo language and to learn more about her culture.
As Miss Indian Arizona, Shaandiin’s platform will be to encourage Native American youth of Arizona to DREAM BIG. “I believe that the power of change lies within the hands of the current generation’s youth. Children have imaginations beyond belief and I believe this creativity can help our Native American communities to innovate new solutions to old problems. Everything starts with a small thought that might grow into a dream. I think the youth just need encouragement to pursue their dreams by setting goals. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people that believed in me”.