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New Indian Country Royalty

A story about new royalty in Indian Country, Maeghan Murie selected as Miss American Indian Oklahoma State University and Shelby Elizabeth Mata is the new Comanche Indian Veterans Association Princess.
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Two young women have been selected to fill royalty positions. During their tenures they will represent their respective organizations and tribes, as well as Indian country. Through service and other commitments, they will contribute to their communities in positive ways.

Shelby Elizabeth Mata, Comanche Nation Junior Princess from 2008-10 and a sophomore at Walters High School in Walters, Oklahoma, has been selected as the next Comanche Indian Veterans Association Princess. She will serve as Princess for a two-year term. Her coronation will be May 18 during the organization's annual Armed Forces Day Banquet at the Comanche Community Center in Apache, Oklahoma. Her Comanche name is Gommock, which means "loving person." She is a member of the Native American Club, high school basketball team, varsity choir and A-B Honor Roll.

Mata's great-grandfather, Clifford Ototivo Sr., was a World War II Army Code Talker, and her grandfather, Jerome Howlingwater, was a Vietnam War veteran and a Cheyenne chief of war, Lanny Asepermy, association historian, told the Lawton Constitution. Her uncles, Preston Gwoompi Sr., Rudy Clifford Jr. and Timothy Ototivo also all served in the military. "Clifford Jr. and Timothy were both combat wounded during the Vietnam War," Asepermy said.

Meanwhile, The Daily O'Collegian reports that Maeghan Murie, a freshman majoring in chemistry, was announced as Miss American Indian Oklahoma State University 2013 after "wowing" the judges April 13.

Kayla Sanford

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Maeghan Murie

According to The Daily O'Collegian,contestants were judged on speeches they gave about important issues and what they were going to do to fix the issues, as well as extemporaneous questions. Murie gave a heartfelt speech about domestic violence and her plan to promote awareness for the issue.

“No one should have a broken body or a broken heart because of someone else,” she told the newspaper. 

Preserving and maintaining American Indian culture was another issue Murie talked about.

“Not much of our language and culture is still alive,” she said.

Congratulations to both Maeghan and Shelby.