ADA, Okla. – Three young ladies were crowned Chickasaw Nation princesses Monday night, bringing talent, poise and maturity in representing the Chickasaw people and tribe in the coming year.
Taylor Nicole Weems, a 17-year-old Latta High School senior, will wear the coveted crown as the 2014-15 Chickasaw Princess. She is the daughter of Michael and Loraine Weems and will graduate in May 2015.
Maegan Ann Carney, a 15-year-old Ardmoreite, will represent the Chickasaw Nation as Chickasaw Junior Princess. She is the daughter of Richard and Angie Carney and is a sophomore.
An 8-year-old Sulphur third-grader was crowned Little Miss Chickasaw. Jazlyn Renee Key, daughter of Joshua Key, of Ada, and Summer Jones, of Sulphur, is active in Sulphur’s New Hope Baptist Church and dazzled pageant goers with a beautiful traditional yellow Chickasaw dress because it was “cheerful.”
Winning the pageant is the first step in a year full of travel and adventure for the young ladies as they become emissaries of the Chickasaw Nation at many events and functions spanning the country.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said that these young ladies are a source of pride to their families and to the Chickasaw people.
“These young ladies are winners in more than one sense of the word,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “Winning this pageant is often the first step on the road to success in many areas of life. Many of our Chickasaw princesses become role models for others.in regard to education, career and family life.”
Ms. Weems succeeds 21-year-old Savannah Burwell as Chickasaw Princess. Burwell is the daughter of Jason and Leta Burwell and juggled college course work at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant with her yearlong duties as 2013-14 princess.
Ms. Carney accepted the crown as Chickasaw Junior Princess from Faithlynn Seawright, a 16-year-old Latta High School student, daughter of Larry Seawright and Gwen Burris.
The Little Miss Chickasaw crown went to Jazlyn Key from outgoing princess Jaycee Grace Underwood, a 9-year-old student at Homer Elementary in the Byng school district. She is the daughter of Joseph Underwood and Eugenia Postoak.
The former princesses were honored with a video of their reign from the past year. A common image on the screen was all three sound asleep, buckled safely in the cars in which they were traveling, while wearing beautiful Chickasaw traditional regalia.
In farewell remarks, all three spoke of the honor, exhilaration of service and the exhausting pace of serving as Chickasaw Nation royalty.
Weems is active in Latta High School’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Upon graduation, she plans to attend Santa Fe University of Art and Design. For her talent, Weems told a story about her family using images of animals, adding amusing anecdotes about each and attributing personality traits of the animals to family members in the story.
Carney wowed the audience in the talent portion of the contest. She performed a traditional Native American Hoop Dance with five rings. To the steady beat of a powwow drum, she formed the hoops into wings, bowls, animals and other objects, flowing effortlessly about the stage during her performance.
Carney is a member of the Ardmore High School tennis team and is active in FCCLA and the Ardmore High School Native American Dream Catcher’s Club.
Sulphur’s Jazlyn Renee Key is learning hymns in Chickasaw and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to baking cupcakes with her sisters, she also enjoys trekking through the Chickasaw National Recreation Area with her dog, Rosco.
For her talent, Key sang “Amazing Grace” in the Chickasaw language, and in English.