Native News Network Staff in Entertainment. Discussion »
ADA, OKLAHOMA Amid tears, laughs and smiles, three young women were chosen to serve as Chickasaw Nation envoys during the Chickasaw Princess Pageant held last Monday in Ada.
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, far left, and Chickasaw Nation Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel, far right, are shown with The Chickasaw Princesses; Little Miss Chickasaw Jacee Underwood, Chickasaw Junior Princess Faithlyn Seawright, and Chickasaw Princess Savannah Nicole Burwell.
Savannah Nicole Burwell, 20, Faithlyn Taloa Seawright, 15, and Jacee Grace Underwood, 8, all of Ada, were crowned Chickasaw Princess, Chickasaw Junior Princess and Little Miss Chickasaw respectively, by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby.
“It is a source of great joy to see these young ladies take pride in our culture as they contend for a place among Chickasaw royalty,”
said Governor Anoatubby.
"All of these extraordinary young ladies exemplify the best qualities of what it means to be Chickasaw. We look forward to the new princesses taking up the mantle of culture bearer. They will be carrying on the proud tradition of all those who have done an exceptional job of representing the Chickasaw Nation."
The newly-crowned Chickasaw Nation Princesses will travel to numerous events and gatherings throughout the year across several states.
The new royalty will have the honor and privilege of representing the Chickasaw Nation at various events nationwide during their one-year reign.
Contestants were judged on the basis of traditional dress, poise and random questions.
There was also a talent portion of the competition. Singing, instrumental performances, storytelling and dance were just a few of the talents displayed.
The winners received a crown, traditional dress, shawl, sash, trophy, gifts and cash prizes.
Ms. Burwell is the 20 year old daughter of Jason Burwell and Leta Miller Burwell. She is a sophomore at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, where she is majoring in business.
"Being Chickasaw Princess will open opportunities for me to share our rich history of who our people are. We are known as the “Great Unconquered and Unconquerable Chickasaw Nation” and, as I continue to learn, I do know much sacrifice and suffering was endured by our ancestors in creating the strong nation we are today.
I enjoy being a role model to our young people and want to share how the old ways are the foundation of our success today. It’s important to know where we came from so we are prepared for the uncertainties of tomorrow.
We are also challenged to preserve our language. More fluent speakers are needed and I know we, the young people, are important to nurturing and strengthening our language.
As a child, I remember visiting my Memaw. She and my uncle would be at the kitchen table speaking our language but would grow silent or begin speaking English when company arrived. My parents and I have set a goal to become fluent speakers believing that, one day, there will be no silence and my children and their child will join in the conversation. Though a great endeavor, my parents have taught me we are never alone when taking on the challenges of life.
There is so much to learn from our elders and I am thankful for what’s been passed on to me. We must all cherish these moments keeping them fresh and alive.
Being Miss Chickasaw will open doors of opportunity to share with our young ones, as well as the world outside our Oklahoma boundaries."
Ms. Seawright is the 15 year old daughter of Larry Seawright and Gwendolyn Burris. She is a sophomore at Latta High School, Ada, Oklahoma.
"I am 15 years old and an honor student at Latta High School where I am an FCCLA member, a student of the Gifted and Talented program and a member of Governor’s Honor Club. I am involved in many activities: Chickasaw Choir, Chikasha Apihchi Ikbi (Creating Chickasaw Leaders), Chickasaw School of Guitar, Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy, Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women, All Nation Pow-Wow committee, a summer youth worker at Arts and Humanities and a member of Round Lake Indian Church. I’ve been a student in the Chickasaw language program and will continue my studies when the new season begins this fall.
I am currently the 2013 All Nations Powwow of Ada Princess and have held this title for two years. I have had the privilege and experience to travel and attend many events as Princess. Holding this title has helped me to gain public relation skills which I utilize in every area of my life and I have had much fun in representing our committee."
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posted October 2, 2013 8:50 am edt