NDSU student wins largest Native American pageant

 By Grace Lyden, Inforum.com

Cheyenne Brady, a 22-year-old senior at North Dakota State University, was crowned Miss Indian World at the Gathering of Nations powwow on April 25

Cheyenne Brady, a 22-year-old senior at North Dakota State University, was crowned Miss Indian World at the Gathering of Nations powwow on April 25

FARGO — All her life, Cheyenne Brady has watched the annual crowning of Miss Indian World.

“It’s a role I have aspired to being since I was a young girl,” said the North Dakota State University senior. “Granted, I didn’t know the significance then, but when you’re about 7 or 8 and you’re just infatuated with all these girls with the pretty crown, you just want to be them.”

On April 25, that dream came true.

As her family members screamed from the crowd, Brady, 22, was named the winner of the largest and most prestigious pageant for Native American women. She still can hardly believe it.

“Sometimes I want to cry, and then I’m so excited, and then I look at the crown and I’m like, ‘Is this really mine?’ The first few days, I felt like I was in a dream,” she said.

The five-day competition takes place every year at the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M., one of the largest powwows in North America, and includes five categories: essay, interview, public speaking, dance and traditional talent.

“Our tradition is incorporated into every part of the pageant,” said Brady, who is from New Town on the Fort Berthold reservation of western North Dakota. “A big aspect of the pageant is knowing who you are, knowing your culture, knowing your history, knowing a bit of your language.”

Brady is a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, and also represents the Cheyenne, Pawnee, Otoe, Kiowa Apache, Hidatsa, Arikara and Tonkawa tribes.

For her talent, she told a true story about a young girl who was killed carrying a white flag at the Sand Creek massacre of 1864, when the U.S. Army killed about 200 people in a Cheyenne and Arapaho village.

“It was a piece of culture that I feel like is not talked about enough, and that’s why I wanted to present that story,” Brady said.

Out of the 21 contestants, Brady also won the awards for dance and essay — just like the first time she entered, in 2011.

“In the moment, I was like, ‘Oh gosh, I’ve been here before,’ but luckily I did better in the other three (categories),” she said.

When Brady didn’t win as an 18-year-old, she took a step back to learn more about her culture and who she was. Now, she’s ready to inspire others to do the same.

Over the next year, she’ll travel around to speak at conferences and powwows. She’s already booked to speak at a tribal college commencement.

“My primary goal is to encourage Native Americans to be who they are, learn their culture, be excited about it and be anything they want to be,” she said.

In the fall, Brady will start a graduate program at NDSU in American Indian public health.

“My people face many, many health issues,” she said. “Diabetes is an epidemic among Native Americans. If I can make any difference in that area, I’ll feel amazing.”

Miss Indian World crowned at Albuquerque powwow

The Associated Press

Taylor Thomas, 21, from Fort Hall, was crowned 2014 Miss Indian World at the 31st Annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend.

Taylor Thomas, 21, from Fort Hall, was crowned 2014 Miss Indian World at the 31st Annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Idaho State University student has earned the title of Miss Indian World.

Pageant officials say 21-year-old Taylor Thomas was crowned Saturday night at the 31st Annual Gathering of Nations at the University of New Mexico Arena in Albuquerque.

Thomas, a member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe, was chosen among 23 Native American women from different tribes and traditions.

As Miss Indian World, Thomas will visit native and indigenous communities around the world and serve as a cultural goodwill ambassador for a year.

The crowning closed three days of festivities at what is considered North America’s largest powwow. The event draws hundreds of competitive dancers and tens of thousands of spectators from across the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico.

Twenty-three-year-old Megan Leary, of Napaimute, Alaska, was first runner-up.

Dine Nation Member, Kansas Begaye, Crowned Miss Indian World

Source: Native News Network

ALBUQUERQUE – Kansas Begaye, 24, from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and member of the Navajo Dine Nation was crowned Miss Indian World at the 30th Annual Gathering of Nations, the most prominent American Indian powwow in the world.

Miss Indian WorldMiss Indian World Kansas Begaye is crowned. (click to enlarge)

Kansas Begaye received the honor out of 16 American Indian women representing their different tribes and traditions who competed in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking, and personality assessment. The new Miss Indian World graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2011.

“Miss Indian World is one of the most prestigious honors in the Native American and indigenous world and the winner will serve as a role model for all Native Americans. Begaye will travel the world educating others about tribal and cultural traditions, and bring together native and indigenous people,”

said Melonie Mathews, coordinator of the Miss Indian World Pageant.

Begaye will travel to many native and indigenous communities around the world on behalf of the powwow. She is the daughter of Dorothy and Leonard Begaye. As Miss Indian World, she will represent all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador for one year.

Brittany Clause, 22 years old from Six Nations, Canada, and a member of Cayuga Nation of Iroquois Confederacy was named first runner-up at the pageant. She is currently attending Buffalo State University in Buffalo, New York.

Yonenyakenht Jesse Brant, 25 years old from Six Nations, Canada, and member of the Mohawk and Turtle Clan tribes was named second runner-up. She graduated from George Brown College in Toronto, Canada in 2009.

In the case that Miss Indian World cannot fulfill her responsibilities, the first runner-up will take her place. If the first runner-up is unable to fulfill her duties after having taken over for Miss Indian World, the second runner-up will take her place.