Once they are crowned, Native pow wow princesses take a stand on personal issues that matter to their young adult lives and carry with them the message and pride of their respective tribes.
Their messages may be varied, but the common thread is one of hope—hope for the youth to lead and build better communities and hope to effectively promote the quality of life of their tribal members in aspects of education, health and housing. “The best way to represent my tribe well is academically. I attend Bixby High School in Bixby, Oklahoma. It’s the second semester of my junior year, and I am taking four advance placement classes, as well as one college course,” said Shiloh Bluebird Pickering, Otoe-Missouria Tribal Princess.
As she strives to be a good student, her hope is that it will pave the way for other children to go to school and pursue their dreams. “If the tribal princess has a good head on her shoulders, then that means the Otoe-Missouria tribe is a knowledgeable one.”
Below are more aspirations from the princess and other crowned princesses as we asked them: “What will be your main focus as a Native beauty queen in 2015?”
Courtesy of Shasta Dazen
Miss Indian Arizona Shasta Dazen
Miss Indian Arizona
Shasta Dazen, Whiteriver, Arizona, White Mountain Apache
“The crown and sash I wear is not for me as a person, it's for the people I represent. All 21 tribes in Arizona have a right to tell me what I need to speak up on, what I should be doing, who I need to become, so that I may be their voice.
I believe as I study with renewed assiduity and keep my attention focused on what the tribes need in Arizona, we can overcome many adversities that we face.
I look forward in 2015 to being that person who can be a shining example for many who wish to create their path of building a better tomorrow.”
Courtesy of Shiloh Bluebird Pickering
Otoe-Missouria Tribal Princess Shiloh Bluebird Pickering
Otoe-Missouria Tribal Princess
Shiloh Bluebird Pickering, Bixby, Oklahoma, Otoe-Missouria
“My main focus for 2015 as a tribal princess is to continue representing my tribe as best as I can by attending more dances and festivities, remaining healthy and in good shape, and finishing my junior year with good grades.”
The Otoe-Missouria tribe is a small tribe, and is hardly known throughout Oklahoma. I feel that if I attend more pow wows around metro areas, my tribe’s name will become well known, and hopefully bring some new faces to our encampment coming in July. “
Miss Denver March Powwow Princess Jordynn Lee Paz (Courtesy of Jordynn Lee Paz)
Miss Denver March Powwow Princess
Jordynn Lee Paz, Crow Agency, Montana, Crow Nation
“My main focus has been the same for a few years now. I just want to be a role model for the next generation of young ladies that will come after me. I know that sounds a little cliché, but it’s true. I care a lot about Native people all over the country, and I want nothing but the best for them. That is what I aspire to be, the best representative they can have. When my reign is over, I want the girl who serves after me to do an even better job than I did.”
Photo courtesy of Monica Jacome
Barona Powwow Princess Monica Jacome
Barona Powwow Princess
Monica Jacome, Mesa Grande, California, Kumeyaay
“My main focus for 2015 is to travel to as many pow wows [as possible]. Along with representing my pow wow, I aim to inspire the youth to receive a higher education. As a mentor in my community, I help motivate the youth and help them find resources they need to reach their goals.
Don't be afraid to reach your dreams. Aspire to be the best you can. Anything is possible.”