The 34th Annual Gathering of Nations -- the world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people -- has announced a final call for applications for the 2017 Miss Indian World competition.
The 2016 Miss Indian World is Danielle Ta'Sheena Finn (Standing Rock Sioux), the Arizona State University law school student who competed against 23 other young women, and also was named Best Public Speaker in the 2016 contest. Throughout her year-long reign, Finn spoke extensively on two of Indian country’s most important issues, language preservation and suicide prevention.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Native youth. For me, it’s personal,” said Finn In her first public address. “The Great Sioux Nation has had a massive epidemic of suicides. Standing Rock has had several states of emergency declared because of suicide epidemics. Sometimes, there were as many as 20 in one month. I grew up knowing that was something I wanted to stop. We need to be strong, together.
“Every 14 days, an Indigenous language dies,” Finn said. “You have to know your language. Once you’re culturally connected, you become a very balanced person.”
The following criteria for Miss Indian World are listed here:Every year, Native American women representing their different tribes and traditions compete for the title of Miss Indian World in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking, essay and personality assessment. The 2017 Miss Indian World will serve as a cultural goodwill ambassador for all native and indigenous people on behalf of the Gathering of Nations for one year. The pageant is open to any single woman who is between the ages of 18 years old to 25 years old, has never been married, has no children, and has knowledge of tribal traditions. The application includes a personal essay, two letters of recommendation, a current photograph, and proof of tribal affiliation. Once selected, contestants will compete in a traditional talent presentation representing their tribe, public speaking ability, private interviews with the judges, a dance competition through Pow wow music based on expression and individual interpretation of the song.The Miss Indian World Pageant begins with the talent presentations on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Convention Center’s Kiva Auditorium – Albuquerque and continues throughout the Gathering of Nations taking place at Tingley Coliseum at Expo New Mexico. With much fanfare, the new Miss Indian World will be crowned on Saturday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m. at the pow wow. All current tribal royalty and all young native ladies are encouraged to apply. Applications must be received by March 20, 2017 at 3301 Coors Road NW, R300 Albuquerque, NM 87120, or sent by fax to (505) 839-0475.Tickets to the Miss Indian World talent presentations are $15 at the door and can be purchased online. For more information about the Miss Indian World Program and for the online application, please visit http://www.gatheringofnations.com/miss-indian-world-information or contact: Michelle Johnson at (505) 797-6673, or at email@example.com. Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) - ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor - Follow @VinceSchilling