• Ashley Burnham takes the 2015 Mrs. Universe Crown (Supplied)Source: Supplied
First Nations Canadian Ashley Burnham says she will use her position as Mrs Universe to help work to improve the rights of her peoples.
By
Andrea Booth

1 Sep 2015 - 5:33 PM  UPDATED 1 Sep 2015 - 10:00 PM

Canadian Ashley Burnham said she would use her 2015 Mrs Universe crown to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples across her country after she took home the title over the weekend.

Mrs Burnham, 25, is the first First Nations woman in the world to win the title. 

"People think I'm too political for my first day as Mrs Universe," Mrs Burnham said in a post on her Facebook page. "Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? Definitely not.

"I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change and bring awareness to First Nations issues here in Canada."

Mrs Burnham said she was not a typical beauty queen. "Look out... I have a voice for change and I'm going to use it!" she said.

The actress, model and motivational speaker was crowned Mrs Universe on Saturday in Minsk, Belarus.

“Representing First Nations on the international stage was the best feeling in the world. I'm so proud to be Mrs. Universe 2015,” said Mrs Burnham said in another Facebook post.

"Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? Definitely not. I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change"

The topic for this year's event that awarded the title for most responsible married woman in the world was "Domestic violence and reflection over children".

The issue of domestic violence is close to home for the 2015 Mrs Universe who grew up between the Maskwacis and Enoch reserves in Alberta where she was subject to poverty and sexual abuse.

She chose to use the topic to draw attention to 2015 Royal Canadian Mounted Police data that shows First Nations women are four times more likely to be murdered or go missing than their non-Indigenous counterparts across the country.

The 2015 Mrs. Universe Ashley Burnham (Supplied)

"I think that the murdered and missing subject is so crucial. It’s so sad," she told APTN. "Say, for example, a Caucasian woman is missing in the news, it’s a big deal, but for First Nations women we are just pushed aside because there’s so many of us missing."

Mrs Burnham is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in mid September for MMIW Inc, a not-for-profit organisation that works to highlight cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.