Craig wins American Indian Beauty Pageant

Tayler Leigh Craig, winner of this year's Indian Beauty Pageant, rides in the Westward Ho! Parade on Friday.

Tayler Leigh Craig, 21, a Walla Walla tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, earned top honors Friday during the Pendleton Round-Up’s annual American Indian Beauty Pageant.

Craig, the daughter of Fermore J. Craig Jr. and Rachel Hoptowit, is the great-great-granddaughter of Jim Kanine, former chief of the Walla Walla tribe.

Craig, who placed third in last year’s pageant, comes from a family of strong beadworkers. She and her mother spent three years beading the traditional buckskin dress and horse trappings she and her horse wore for the pageant.

A 2015 graduate of Pendleton High School, Craig participated in sports and won a photography contest with a picture of her horse, Lane. She loves fitness, traveling to powwows, teaching beadwork and dancing. Now that she has completed her traditional regalia, she plans to apply to serve as a Happy Canyon princess next year.

Kaia John, 17, of Toppenish, Wash., was the second-place winner in the pageant. She is the daughter of Syd and Robin John, and is affiliated with the Walla Walla and Umatilla tribes.

Third place was awarded to Mary Dawn Harris, 21, of Pendleton. A fifth-generation competitor, she served as Happy Canyon princess in 2015. She is the daughter of Stuart and Deborah Harris, and a member of the Cayuse, Nez Perce and Umatilla tribes.

Destiny Buck, 20, of Mattawa, Wash., the daughter of Rachel Buck and Kenneth Hunt, was fourth. Her tribal affiliations include Wanapum, Yakama, Cayuse and Palouse.

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