Skip to main content

Tonya Still is crowned Miss Indian Oklahoma

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Tonya Still is following what has become almost a tradition in Oklahoma, she is the sixth former Miss Cherokee to be crowned Miss Indian Oklahoma.

Still, the 22-year-old daughter of Sammy and Dama Still of Tahlequah, won the Most Traditional Talent award during the pageant as well as the title of Miss Indian Oklahoma. She is well known in the area near her home for her ability to play the Indian flute.

Other parts of the competition required contestants to model in traditional clothing and answer questions from the judges. All of the contestants also took part in a judicial interview prior to the pageant.

Still, a senior at Northwestern State University in Tahlequah, is majoring in American history. Her father said she had started out with a major in music, but after working with children at the local Boy's and Girl's Club, she became fascinated with Cherokee history and decided to become a history major.

She plans to use scholarship money from the Miss Indian Oklahoma contest to pay for graduate school where she plans to major in Indian studies to complement her undergraduate degree. Her goal is to teach Cherokee history in the Tahlequah area.

The Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women sponsored the Miss Indian Oklahoma Pageant. The federation's objectives are to promote and preserve the cultural heritage and identity of Oklahoma's tribes and to continue to develop ways of depicting the Indian woman in the world of today.

Still said she believes they have accomplished that. "It was interesting that the other four contestants were from four different tribes and that we got to learn what we had in common as Indian people. I believe if you remain open to other cultures and other peoples' heritage, it opens a lot of new doors."

The next contest Still has her eye on is the Miss Indian U.S.A. pageant.

Her father and mother say they take great pride in her accomplishments. "We're really honored," Still said. "She has always been a good daughter. I'm sure she will do a good job, her mother and I are very proud of her."