Courtesy Howard Kayaani
A light rain fails on Brandy Joey during a photo shoot after she was crowned the new Miss Navajo Technical University. According to Navajo tradition, a soft female rain signifies that all is good in life and that it gives a person a fresh start.

Miss NTU Using Platform to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence


Brandy Joey was crowned Miss Navajo Technical University on September 7, 2016, and realizes the unique position she is in to serve as a role model to the younger generation. She has since made it her mission to raise awareness of domestic violence issues on the Navajo Nation, which last year some 96,000 domestic violence related calls were made to the Navajo police.

RELATED: The Most Dangerous Call: Domestic Violence on the Navajo Nation

“Being crowned Miss Navajo Technical University means a lot,” said Joey, 19, of Blue Gap, Arizona. “I made my platform domestic violence because my mom is a survivor and we witnessed it with my dad.”

During the pageant, Joey competed in three categories: traditional talent, contemporary talent, and essay writing, which required the contestants to describe what they would do if they won. Joey wrote about being a role model and promoting the university. For her traditional talent, she talked about her clans, she sang for her contemporary talent, and used the time to speak about her personal experiences with domestic violence.

“Looking and talking about what I witnessed as a child was hard,” explained Joey, who is the oldest of three children and is majoring in Legal Assistant and Law Advocate at NTU’s instructional site in Chinle, Arizona. “That’s how I want to talk to the younger generation that is witnessing domestic violence between their parents.”

“It’s not just hurting the parents, it hurts the children more because they witness it,” continued Joey. “They don’t know how to seek help and that’s when they turn to drugs, alcohol, gangs, and violence.”

Joey has already appeared at the Navajo Nation Fair and the Northern Navajo Fair, and plans on attending school events throughout the Navajo Nation to carry her message about domestic violence to a wider audience.

“I will do the best I can to represent the younger generation and NTU,” said Joey, whose clans are Tó’áhání, Kinyaa’áanii, Tódích’íi’nii, and Tábąąhá “It’s a good opportunity, and I like carrying this reign. It brings me to meet new people, and it’s an awesome experience.”

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