Shelby Elizabeth Mata from the Comanche Nation located in Walters, Oklahoma was crowned Miss Native American USA 2021-22. The 24-year-old pageant titleholder upholds a platform that spreads the message of Cultural Knowledge and Awareness. The platform focuses on identity, connection to culture, balancing tribal and American societal values in addition to encouraging one another.
The Miss Native American USA organization’s mission is to encourage Native American women to achieve their personal goals, build character, enhance self-esteem and develop leadership skills. Due to the COVID-19 Delta Variant, this year’s competition has been canceled for the second year. As an alternative solution, the Miss Native American USA leadership team has called upon the first runner-up, Shelby Mata. Earlier this week, former Miss Native American USA 2019-21, Lexie James (Hopi) successfully ended her two-year reign, which was an extension that was given last year due to COVID-19.
“We are saddened to go another year without competition. This year would have been our 10th Anniversary scholarship pageant but we understand Indian Country is still at risk to COVID-19 Delta Variant. We hope that calling upon our first runner-up demonstrates our commitment to continue representing Indian Country while providing opportunities to our former past contestants,” said Founder and CEO, Tashina Atine (Diné). “We look forward to welcoming Shelby and are grateful for her and her family. We would like to thank Comanche Nation Tribal Chairman, Mark Woommavovah for accepting our invitation to crown Shelby Mata on our behalf this year. In addition, we would like to thank the Comanche Nation Council Office, Comanche Business Committee, respected leaders, and visiting royalty for their gifts and support towards her.
Mata is Miss Native American USA’s first contestant titleholder from Oklahoma and was crowned at the Comanche Nation Complex’s Comanche Code Talker Room by Comanche Nation Chairman, Mark Woommavovah. The Opening Cedaring Ceremony was provided by Gene Sovo and an adult Golden Eagle feather presented by SIA Program Executive Director, Bill Volker. In addition, she was presented with a Pendleton from Tribal Administrator Julie Mantzke.
“I am honored and very excited for this upcoming year to represent the Miss Native American USA 2021-22. I look forward to the new friendships, experiences, and opportunities to share my platform. I want to thank my parents for always being so supportive, my friends, and all my supporters who have encouraged me and given me kind words along the way.“