EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –The reigning Miss Winona, Rachel Evangelisto, was crowned Miss Minnesota in a pageant finale. She is the first native American to hold the title. She is a Standing Rock Sioux who grew up in South Dakota. In the Miss Minnesota pageant she performed her polished presentation “Foster Care in Crisis: Native Youth in Minnesota.” At Standing Rock she provides court-ordered guardianship on behalf of children. Evangelisto, who is 24, holds a political science degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris, with an emphasis on law. In her pageant performances to date, beginning at age13, has won $13,000 in scholarships. Now she goes to the Miss America pageant. As Miss Winona she earned $1,200.

Earlier: Two hometowners in Miss Winona contest

Evangelisto. Her Indian earrings denote her pride in a native heritage.