Published April 28, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — It costs to be the queen.
Miss Navajo Nation Autumn Montoya reported how costly it is during the 24th Navajo Nation Council spring session. It was the first time in recent memory a reigning Miss Navajo spoke up publicly about the obstacles of holding the coveted crown. She told the Council that it has cost her over $24,000 out of her own pocket to perform her royal tasks.
In eight months as Miss Navajo, Montoya has crisscrossed the Navajo Nation and beyond. She said she has visited 40 schools, 120 community events, 18 conferences and 10 private functions such as kinaaldá ceremonies. She has racked up more than 40,000 miles on her personal vehicle.
She can claim 54 cents a mile, which totals $21,800. She has also spent $561 on posters and shipping, $225 for a professional photographer, $500 for lodging, $50 for entry fees, $700 for parade fees and $300 for office supplies. In total, it has cost Montoya $24,136 to be Miss Navajo Nation, she said.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published by the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.