Former Miss Navajo releases first children’s picture book entirely in Diné Bizaad in hopes of inspiring youth and to inform of the responsibilities the Miss Navajo Nation title holds
FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Diné Bich’eekę’ Yishłeeh is brought to press by Flagstaff, AZ-based publisher Salina Bookshelf, Inc., and it is a story based on former Miss Navajo Nation, Jolyana Begay-Kroupa’s experience of earning and holding the coveted title told entirely in Diné Bizaad, (Navajo language).
“So many memories flooded back to when I was a little girl when I dreamed of becoming Miss Navajo Nation one day. I thought to myself, would this dream finally come true for me.”
Miss Navajo is a quintessential representation of her culture and serves as an ambassador for her people promoting education, community well-being, and the preservation of language and traditional life ways.
Contestants endure a week-long competition as they are tested on their fluency in Diné Bizaad (Navajo language), demonstrate traditional skills, perform contemporary talents, and engage in food preparation. Jolyana Begay-Kroupa shares her journey to becoming Miss Navajo Nation in this inspiring children’s book filled with pictures from the 2001 Miss Navajo Nation Competition.
With the release of Diné Bich’eekę’ Yishłeeh, Jolyana’s inspiring story is told entirely in Diné Bizaad (Navajo language) to promote the importance of Navajo language in culture and in literature. It is Salina Bookshelf’s first publication of an entire story told in the language and serves to be a milestone in promoting Diné culture and language, a pivotal role of Miss Navajo Nation and Salina Bookshelf.
Diné Bich’eekę’ Yishłeeh is available in hardcover with 32 pages and is priced at $21.95. The ISBN# is: 978-1-893354-24-1. To find more information about the book, visit www.salinabookshelf.com
About the author Jolyana Begay-Kroupa
Jolyana Begay-Kroupa, is originally from Ts’iłdiilyésiitah (Rabbitbrush) near Fort Defiance, AZ. She is Navajo (Diné) born into Tachii’nii (Red Running into the Water People) and born for Tsinaajinii (Black Streak Wood People). Her maternal grandfathers are Yé’ii Dine’é Táchii’nii (Giant People of the Red Running into the Water People). Jolyana honorably served as the 50th Miss Navajo Nation (2001-2002) and currently resides in the Phoenix-Metro area where she is a Director of Development for Phoenix Indian Center. She has a Masters of Arts in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education – emphasis in American Indian Education Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She currently teaches Navajo language classes at Arizona State University and Stanford University. She has also taught for Harvard University and Yale University. Jolyana is married and has three beautiful children.
Jolyana Begay-Kroupa and her book Becoming Miss Navajo have been featured on the national radio show Native America Calling hosted by Tara Gatewood. Listen to this incredible hour-long interview featuring an interview with Jolyana about her book, questions from listeners from all over the country, and a glimpse of Jolyana reading from the forthcoming Navajo version Diné Bich’eekę’ Yishłeeh.
Thursday, September 24, 2020 – Book of the Month: “Becoming Miss Navajo” by Jolyana Begay-Kroupa