January 24, 2008

Yakama vies for Miss America

Yakama contestant heads to the pageantElyse Umemoto, born and raised on the Yakama Indian Reservation in the small town of Wapato, is on her way to the Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas Jan. 26. Last July, Washington state crowned her its first American Indian ever in the history of the Miss Washington competition.

Umemoto breaks down her ethnicity by "quads"--one-quarter Yakama Indian, Japanese, Hispanic and German. When asked which one of her quarters she identifies with the most, she proudly declares her Native "quad." Her pageant platform reflects her multicultural upbringing, "embracing diversity, empowering women."

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