Council approves Royalty Budget
Little Miss, Junior Miss, and Teen Miss receive funding
By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff
After several years of absence, the Little Miss Cherokee, Junior Miss Cherokee, and Teen Miss Cherokee pageants were included in the Cherokee Indian Fair in October. Tribal Council passed a resolution during their regular session on Thursday, Dec. 3 which gives those girls and the pageants associated with them a $50,000 budget for FY2010.
“I know that other Tribes spend a lot of money on their royalty,” said Big Cove Rep. Teresa McCoy who said that the girls are excellent PR for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “Plus, they set a good example for other young ladies.”
Painttown Rep. Terri Henry agreed, “We should consider these girls PR.” She said that in her travels she came in contact with Miss Navajo Nation who has an extensive budget (salary) for herself. “Every time the president of the Navajo Nation travels, she travels with him and they go all over the world.”
Mollie Grant, chairperson for the recently established Junior Girls Pageant Board, thanked Council for passing their budget, “I think if they wouldn’t have gotten the funding, it would have been a burden on the girls.”
Grant said that $10,000 of the budget will go towards the 2010 Pageants for things such as crowns, sashes, trophies and a banquet for the contestants. Along with Grant, the rest of the new board consists of: Candy Martin, vice-chairperson; Lisa Fowler, treasurer; Ashleigh Brown, public relations and secretary; Heather Younce; and Linda West.
According to Grant, each of the three girls will receive traveling money for trips such as Seminole Fair, Choctaw Fair, and the Cherokee Holidays in Oklahoma. She related that Teen Miss Cherokee Kele Crisp is being scheduled to attend the next USET conference in Washington, DC.
“We’re very appreciative,” Crisp told Council on Thursday. She said it means a lot to have the support of the Tribe in her travels.
Fowler said the pageants this year were an awesome experience and thanked Council for their support. “These little girls represent, and we’re just asking for the chance for them to get out there and make you proud.”
In recent weeks, the girls have participated in several parades and Crisp has traveled to New Echota, Ga. and several pow wows including the Poarch Creek pow wow over Thanksgiving weekend in Atmore, Ala.
“We’re hoping that a lot of other girls will become interested in the pageants,” said Grant who praised the pageant coordinators and former Miss Cherokees themselves Amanda Wolfe and Kara Martin. “I think they did a really good job with the pageants, and with some funding, they should be able to do an even better job.”