The Miss Indian World Pageant was created in 1983 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since then, the five-day competition has brought together young women of diverse Native American backgrounds every year to compete for the Miss Indian World crown. The winning contestant is awarded the crown on the last day of the Gathering of Nations Powwow.
To be eligible for the competition, an entrant must be a Native American or indigenous woman with evidence of tribal affiliation; 18 to 25 years old; single, never married, and without children; and knowledgeable of the traditions of the tribe she represents.
The new Miss Indian World is chosen by tallying an aggregate score of the most points across several categories. Contestants are judged by their traditional talent presentations, the art of public speaking, private interviews with judges, and dance competitions. The winner holds the crown for one year during which time she travels across the continent and to various locations of the world as an ambassador for all native people.
Amongst other gifts, Miss Indian World 2012 will receive prize money; a travel stipend to attend Powwows, conferences, workshops, festivals, and other native events; a Miss Indian World Shawl and Banner; and a four-day ocean cruise.