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Jr. Miss Cherokee named Student of the Year

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Ashley Miller, 16, of Stilwell, Okla. was recently honored as the Student of the Year by the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education for her work representing the Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador. Miller currently holds the title of Jr. Miss Cherokee.

“I am very proud of Ashley for receiving this honor of Indian Student of the Year for Oklahoma in past years the award goes to a high school senior; her selection demonstrates what an exceptional young lady she is,” said Reba Bruner, Jr. Miss Cherokee event coordinator. “She represents the Cherokee Nation proudly wherever she goes and is always willing to lend a hand.”

Valeria Littlecreek, president of OCIE, said many of the organization’s members are teachers, support personnel and directors of Oklahoma school Indian Education programs and they all work together to provide students such as Miller with opportunities to excel in academics, to develop self-esteem and confidence for personal character and to pursue goals in life for self-fulfillment and successful careers.

“Our organization exists because of our young people,” Littlecreek said. “Providing support and encouragement for our Native American youth is part of the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education mission.”

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Ashley is the daughter of David and Tammy “Keeter” Miller of Stilwell. She is a junior at Stilwell High School and has been a member of the Cherokee National Youth Choir for the past five years. She plans to obtain a Native American studies major in the future with minor emphasis on Cherokee education and music.

The Jr. Miss Cherokee Ambassador Competition was created to provide a way to promote leadership and culture among Cherokee youth. Jr. Miss Cherokee acts as a goodwill ambassador for the tribe and promotes the government, language, history and traditions of the Cherokee people.