ONE FEATHER STAFF REPORT
Three EBCI tribal members are vying for the title of Miss Cherokee 2010. The pageant will be held in the Cultural Arts Center at the Cherokee Central Schools on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6pm. The three contestants for the crown are Tonya Carroll, Cristyn Jones and Kelly Murphy.
Carroll, 25, is the daughter of Jan Smith and the late Kermit Carroll. She represents the Bird Town Community and holds a Masters Degree in History from Western Carolina University. She is currently the Outreach Coordinator for the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual Inc.
Jones, 18, is the old daughter of Carrie Smith and Bud Jones and Tracy Clark. She is the granddaughter of Lou Jackson and the Great-Granddaughter of Ed and Ella Jackson. She represents the Snowbird Community, and is a freshman at Western Carolina University.
Murphy, 20, is the daughter of Delores Queen and Clarence Murphy. She resides with her Grandmother Naomi Queen in the Painttown Community. She is currently employed at the New Kituwah Acadamy and is a second year student at Southwestern Community College.
“As we look back over the years, Miss Cherokee has always been a position of honor, dignity and respect,” the EBCI Royalty Board said in a statement to the One Feather. “The early pageants had as many as 12 young Cherokee women competing for the coveted title. While there was zero to a very small budget available, it wasn’t about the budget. It was about the honor of holding the Title and representing our great Nation, the ‘Eastern Band of Cherokee’. It was also the utmost honor when an organization or business called and asked ‘will you represent us as a contestant in the Miss Cherokee Pageant?’”
The statement continued, “For the past several years we have seen participation in the Pageant go from 8 to 12 contestants down to 3, 2, 1 and even 0. With the number of beautiful young women within our Tribe, and the many opportunities available for the Princess, it saddens us to see the lack of interest in today’s pageants. Today we have a Royalty Board, whose primary objective is to advocate solely for the Princess. They see that she is available and able to attend many events and functions in order to promote Cherokee, NC.”
But, the Board is excited about this year’s Pageant, “This year we have three beautiful and talented young women competing for the Title and we commend them and wish them the very best in not only the Pageant but also in their future endeavors.”