Former Miss Native ENMU

Parents: Lucianne and Dale Riley
Tribal affiliation: Pueblo of Laguna
Clans: big snake, little sun
Major: Anthropology

  1. What made you want to run for ENMU’s Reina/ Native Queen?
    I have always wanted to represent my tribe and I saw that running Native Queen would be a good way to do that.
  2. What made you attend ENMU?
    I came to ENMU because of the scholarships that were offered to me.
  3. Describe where you are from and your family heritage.
    I come from the Pueblo of Laguna. My family heritage consists of Laguna Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, Hopi and Zuni.
  4. How do you embrace your culture?
    I embrace my culture by learning and trying my best to practice our native traditions and religion, and also taking part in our traditional doings.
  5. What do you feel you can contribute to Multicultural Affairs?
    I feel I can contribute to the Multicultural Affairs by informing others of my heritage and learn more about and also share information of the many other heritages that we have here at ENMU.
  6. How would you encourage others to embrace their cultures?
    I would encourage others to embrace their cultures by encouraging them to learn more about their cultures and by embracing my own.
  7. What is was your favorite multicultural presentation so far?
    My favorite presentation so far has been the James and Ernie comedy performance.
  8. What is your favorite  thing about ENMU?
    My favorite thing about ENMU is the small class sizes, they help me gain a better connection with my professors and classmates.
  9. How has being the Reina/ Native queen affected your perspective on your culture?
    So far, being Native Queen has really affected my perspective on my culture by all the support I have received from members of my tribe, it shows just how closely connected we are with members of our community and the pride that we have for our culture and lifestyle.
  10. What is the one aspect of the Hispanic/ Native culture you feel most passionate about?
    I feel most passionate about my native culture being that we are so very closely connected and the respect we have for each other and our environment.
  11. If you could describe the Hispanic/ Native culture with three words what would they be and why?
    Unique, beautiful, and precious. Unique because every tribe has their own special culture and traditions, beautiful because most tribes celebrate the beauty in our environment and people, and precious because without learning our culture, it is possible we could lose it someday.
  12. What’s your favorite part about being queen?
    My favorite part about being queen is making my tribe proud and seeing my younger siblings, and relatives say they want to be successful.
  13. Who is your biggest influence and why?
    My biggest influence would be my mother because she is a very strong woman and she holds amazing qualities that I hope to gain myself someday.
  14. If there is one thing you wanted the ENMU community to know about your culture what would it be?
    My community is a very friendly, and encouraging community, we are very close knit and family oriented and we are inviting to visitors.
  15. What I some advice you would give to future queens?
    My advice would be to be proud of who you are and where you come from, and to carry yourself the way you want to represent your tribe and fellow native Americans.


Miss Native ENMU 2011-2012

Name: Jeraldine Henio
Title Year: 2011-2012
Parents: Vera Beaver & Jamie Henio
Tribe and Clans: Navajo: (Ch7shi) Mescalero Apache born for (Hasht[’ishnii)Mud People clan. My Maternal Grandfather is (Ts4 N1habi[n77) Sleeping Rock people clan & my paternal grandfather is of the (T0d7ch’7i’nii) Bitter Water people clan.
Graduation Year and Degree: I will be graduating Spring 2014 from NMSU with an Associate in Computer Technology and continuing with New Mexico State University’s Information and Communication Technology Bachelor’s program.

  1. How did Miss Native American ENMU affect your life?
    It taught me the importance of honoring your heritage and that even though I was a couple hundred miles from home, I always had my heritage to keep a sense of home with me. It is still affecting me today. I have always been very shy and now, I am very outgoing and sociable with my colleagues. I worked myself up from being a basic Technician to working with Area Office representatives, vendor representatives and having a good working relations with organizational employees. I am also volunteering my time as the Miss Ramah Navajo Rodeo Queen pageant coordinator, I am continuing to work with our community youth getting them involved with representing their Navajo language, the sport of rodeo and the small community of Pine Hill.

  2. What is your favorite memory from your reign?
    My favorite memory would have to be the traveling I got to do. Everywhere I traveled, everyone was so impressed that there was a University on the other side of the state that gave the native students the ability to represent their culture. I was continuously invited to pageant competitions, banquets and various events to participate with other Navajo Nation Royalty. One of my most prized memories of my reign was receiving the respect of our elders. Giving them the satisfaction that our culture is being represented and there are young generations still speaking our Native tongue fluently.

  3. What did you learn from being Miss Native American ENMU?
    I learned to gain confidence and self esteem. I was a very shy person, honestly I still am. But as Miss Native American ENMU, I was more comfortable with speaking in front of crowds and being more interactive with the public during parades and during pageant competitions keeping the crowd entertained when given the opportunity to speak and give some influential words to the young contestants. The pageant coordinators always liked for me to give words of encouragement because of the position I was in. I was a young Navajo lady representing our tribe at a State University, knew what obstacles they were facing with competition jitters, the path to successfully continuing their higher education and how important it is to live according to the traditional teachings to become a successful and very well respected Native woman in today’s modern society.

  4. What motivated you to run for the title?
    Honestly, I never gave a pageant like Miss Native a thought. I felt that I wouldn’t have the confidence to represent the title thoroughly. I was a very shy person and was scared to speak my native language in front of strangers. But one weekend when I returned home, a recruiter was at my old high school. I had gotten information that there were more than half of the student body that was interested in Portales. It motivated me to run for the title to represent my hometown, my culture and use the title as an opportunity to get myself out of my comfort zone. It was a very challenging process to get over my shyness. With my Mother and my Brother right beside me during the competition it put my nerves at ease. That was always my suggestion to contestants was to have someone that has always motivated you and that you look up to, you at your competition.

  5. How would you encourage young women to run for the title of Miss Native American ENMU?
    I'd always love to tell my story of the type of view I had on queen pageants. I had previously held rodeo queen titles but that involved what I loved doing the most. Rodeos have always been a part of my life but a queen representing more than just the communities sport of rodeo was very intimidating. Let alone the fact that I was representing the Native student body as well as my Native culture at a University. After my reign was completed, the last few days was when it hit me like a big yellow school bus. All the memories came flooding back. There is nothing more prideful than knowing that you've made your hometown community, family, ancestors and your Native people proud that you have represented a very sacred culture in an outside world. Representing your culture in a place where they have no idea of what a Navajo is, only by what they read on the internet or see in movies. It is a very heartwarming feeling when people tell you that you are the most beautiful person they've ever seen when you are in your traditional dress, they are so interested in your culture and think that it is the most beautiful thing they've ever experienced. The title of Miss Native American will affect your life in so many ways possible and not only just in the time you are at Eastern, it will continue to help you as you go on to experience the ever-changing obstacles in life, one way or another.



Name: Bobbi Jo Touchin, Miss Native American ENMU
Title Year: 2009-2010
Daughter of Jolene Touchin (nee Scott) and Robert Touchin Jr.
Maternal Grandparents: Late Mary A. Scott (nee Antonio) and the Late Joseph F. Scott
Paternal Grandparents: Mildred Touchin (nee Alonzo) and Robert Touchin Sr.

  1. How did Miss Native American ENMU affect your life?
  2. Miss Native ENMU, opened my eyes to new experiences and gave me opportunities for the future. One great example is my job, I started volunteering at the Native American Affairs Office during my reign and then was hired. I have worked here ever since and if it wasn't for my title I would probably still be working at the library.

  3. What is your favorite memory from your reign?
  4. My favorite memory is from when I was in the parade in my hometown, Laguna, NM for September 18 during the Catholic Feast Day for St. Joseph. Seeing my whole reservation supporting me and taking pictures.

  5. What did you learn from being Miss Native American ENMU?
  6. I learned how to be a public speaker, I was a shy freshmen and now I am comfortable addressing 100+ people.

  7. What motivated you to run for the title?
  8. My mother, although she wasn't the one who sat me down to fill out the application, she was my biggest support system getting me ready to run for the title. I wanted to make her proud of me. I wanted to represent my family and tribe.

  9. How would you encourage young women to run for the title of Miss Native American ENMU?
  10. I would tell them my own story of how it broke me out of my little shell, all the great opportunities this reign has given me. The respect and honor received, this experience is one I would not trade for the world.

Additional information:

  • Tribe and clans
    I am form the Pueblos of Laguna and Acoma, Big Eagle (Acoma Pueblo), and Little Eagle (Laguna Pueblo)
  • Graduation Year and Degree
    I will be graduating in the Fall of 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in History with an Emphasis in Secondary Education.


Name: Dr. Shannon M. Saltclah
Year you held the title: 2005-2006
Mother: Rose Saltclah

  1. How did Miss Native American ENMU affect your life?
    Holding the Title as Miss Native American ENMU 05-06 was an honor. I was given the opportunity to serve as a goodwill ambassador to the community and challenged to take on greater responsibility. I found myself serving as a mentor, role model, leader, as a reflection of my tribe and University.  The collection of your life experiences makes you who you are today.  I will always appreciate the opportunity to have served in this capacity and I am thankful for all the experiences that came with it.  It certainly has shaped me.

  2. What is your favorite memory from your reign?
    My favorite memory was when I made an appearance at the nursing home on the Navajo Reservation in Chile, AZ.  I was able to meet and greet with elders and played songs for them on the piano.  Bringing a smile to their face and making them laugh is a memory I keep dear to my heart.  It reminded me about the value of giving back to my community.

  3. What did you learn from being Miss Native American ENMU?
    I learned to be pro-active about the goals I wanted to achieve. Holding the title, you set your agenda for the year.  Prioritizing the year’s events allowed me to focus my efforts to achieve what I set out to do.  At times it seemed difficult, but I learned more and more that you have to believe in yourself, persevere through the hard times, and take the initiative to complete the task.

  4. What motivated you to run for the title?
    I wanted to become more engaged with the events at ENMU and have the opportunity to inform the campus community about Native American Culture.  I always admired how women who held such titles before me exhibited such poise, grace, and leadership and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

  5. How would you encourage young women to run for the title of Miss Native American ENMU?
    I challenge those considering this honor to step outside of her comfort zone and be the transformational change our community needs today. Miss Native American ENMU takes ambition and perseverance--the first step is believing in oneself.

Additional Information:

  • Lieutenant Saltclah, Pharmacist at Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board. I am a Commissioned Corps officer with the United States Public Health Service.
  • Dr. Saltclah was recently featured in the Navajo Times
  • Tribe: Navajo
  • Graduation Year and Degree (if graduated): Eastern New Mexico University Bachelors of Science, 2008 University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, 2012


Name: Dwan B. Martinez-Flen
Year you held the title: 2003-2004
Parents: Wilcox and Nora Martinez

  1. How did Miss Native American ENMU affect your life?
    Because of my reign, I learned a lot about people and that being genuine and having the willingness to share some of my family traditions and culture to those who were eagerly seeking understanding, and wanted to know about the Dine people was very rewarding. Since my reign, just that experience has always pricked my heart to become the compassionate person I am today, which is implementing what I have been taught from my people in everything that I do.
  2. What is your favorite memory from your reign?
    My favorite memory…My father and I driving from Ramah Community to Shiprock, NM to attend an ENMU Benefit dance. My father who respectfully filled in duties from chauffeuring to teaching me more about my culture during my reign was a huge a success and the unique thing about the trip was during a dance my moccasin lace unraveled, and it is disrespectful when that sort of thing happens during a dance, with the headperson. The headperson immediately left my side and my loving dad helped me with my lace and the show went on. I received positive compliments for my dancing at the Benefit dance. I will always treasure that memory in my heart. I love my dad so much
  3. What did you learn from being Miss Native American ENMU?
    I learned that despite my distance from my community and family, I could still represent as a Native American at a, local, state and national level. I also enjoyed being a positive influence to my little nephews and nieces that you can succeed at a college level and still connect with your community at a tribal level.
  4. What motivated you to run for the title?
    At the time, I looked at it as an opportunity to continue to grow as a Dine women, ENMU student and a role model. I was ready to step it up and share my culture, beliefs, and understanding of the traditional ways. I especially wanted to share the special traits that have been passed down to me from my paternal father Sam Martinez who was a medicine man and a story teller. I wanted to share the amorous teaching to others in hope that they might instill a warm connection to their love ones with the dine ways.
  5. How would you encourage young women to run for the title of Miss Native American ENMU?
    I would encourage to the young native women that becoming Miss Native American is not a job, however it is a reign that you must want to do with a good spirit filled with love, joy and compassion. Becoming, Miss Native American, opened many doors for me at a local, state and national level. I visited many schools sharing stories, songs and crafts. I sang the National Anthem at the Department of Treasury in Washington, DC. I participated in many parades and encouraged the little ones to stay in school and respect their elders. I visited many communities and played my drum for them and shared funny stories about me during my reign because I still firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine. I was able to do this because my desires were at the right place and I just want to encourage whoever wants to share their experiences and talents with others can do it!

Additional Information:

  • Tribe and clans: I am Dine, from Mountain View, NM. I am born for the Bitterwater People from the Meadow People clans.
  • Graduation Year and Degree(if graduated): (2005) Bachelor’s in Science (BS) in Criminal Justice.

Name: Paula K. Garcia
Year you held the title: 2002-2003
Tribe: Navajo and Acoma Pueblo
Clans: Navajo-I am Mexican People, born for the Pueblo, Maternal grandfather: Red Running into Water, and Paternal Grandfather: Pueblo
Acoma Clan- Big Navajo, Little Yellow Corn
Parents: Patty Nez and Floriano Garcia
Graduated: 2005 ENMU Alumni

  1. How did Miss Native American ENMU affect your life?
    As Miss NA ENMU 02/03, I was able to network with leaders, students, and other individuals from various organizations and communities. From networking I have created lifelong friendships and professional relationships. Those relationships I have created during my reign have had the most impact in my life both personal and professional. From having friends that I can depend on for support and encouragement to professional relations that assist in some of the work I do today.
  2. What is your favorite memory from your reign?
    I don't think I have one specific favorite memory because there are too many memories to recall that all had something funny and interesting happen. The best memories I most remember were preparing for parades and during the parades because family and friends pitched in to help and it was always fun.
  3. What did you learn from being Miss Native American ENMU?
    Everything was a learning experience for me because it was the first time serving in the capacity of student representative of that nature. More so than anything my leadership's skills grew.
  4. What motivated you to run for the title?
    I guess it was to try something new and I wanted to serve as a student ambassador for Native American students at ENMU and I saw Ms. NA ENMU as an opportunity to do that.
  5. How would you encourage young women to run for the title of Miss Native American ENMU?
    I highly encourage young women to a participant in the Miss NA ENMU because it's a learning experience both personal and educational. The rewards of being Miss NA ENMU are both materialistic and non-materialistic. The friendships and people the young women will encounter on the journey of Miss NA ENMU is an experience one will not forget.