University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) 2019 graduate Rachel Evangelisto was crowned Miss Minnesota 2022 in June. She is the first Native American to earn the title.
An enrolled member of the Húŋkpapȟa Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Evangelisto works as an Indian Child Welfare Act Guardian ad Litem, looking out for the best interest of Native American children involved in child protection cases. She plans to pursue a degree in tribal law.
During her year as Miss Minnesota, Evangelisto aims to share her Indigenous culture, raise awareness around the Indian Child Welfare Act, and create cultural connection programs to support Indigenous youth in Minnesota involved in child protection and foster care cases.
“It’s always been my goal to put community and culture at the heart of everything I do and represent, and I look forward to sharing that throughout my year as Miss Minnesota,” says Evangelisto, who received scholarship support at UMM. “I’m proud to be the representation that I needed to see as a little [girl] and hope to inspire our children to always reach for their dreams, no matter their background.”
Read more of her story.