By KARYL FRANKIEWICZ
MISS CHEROKEE 2012
Si-yo! I hope everyone celebrated New Year’s and plan to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. In December, I took part in Christmas parades and during January I got ready for USET (United Southern and Eastern Tribe) which took place the first week of February.
On Dec. 1, I took part in the Christmas parade in Cherokee. The Monday after, I traveled to Waynesville to ride in their Christmas parade.
On Dec. 7, I went to the Cherokee high school to watch and take part in Elders Day. Shortly after, I went to the Christmas Bazaar and saw some amazing craftwork. That night I headed straight back to the high school to be part of another amazing event, the renaming of the high school arena to Charles George Memorial arena.
The next day, Dec. 8, was the Christmas parade in Bryson City. I rode in that parade with Teen Miss Cherokee Bradley Welch, Junior Miss Cherokee Aliyah Bigmeat, and Little Miss Cherokee Marcela Garcia.
On Dec. 21, I traveled to the Seven Clans Dialysis center to hand out Christmas cards and talk to some patients.
On Dec. 27, I took part in the candlelight vigil at the Charles George Memorial arena in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary school.
I would like to thank Laura Pinnix for inviting me to the Cherokee High School to celebrate our elders who have so much to teach us. Thank you Bill Underwood for allowing me to participate in the renaming of the arena. I want to thank Jan Walkingstick for inviting me to the Christmas Bazaar.
I apologize to the patients at the Dialysis Center because on Dec. 22 I was not able to see them. I had come down with laryngitis. I also would like to make a big acknowledgement to my Royalty Board for decorating the convertible for me to ride in the Christmas parades. You all did a fantastic job.
I was included in the opening ceremony at USET in Washington D.C. with 26 other tribes on Feb. 4. Teen Miss Cherokee Bradley Welch said the invocation during the ceremony. I had the privilege of meeting two amazing ladies; Miss Florida Seminole Alexis Aguilar and Miss Coushatta Hannah Jane Nichols.
Later that afternoon, I spent time with the Close-Up Students while they presented the projects of concerns they want to see changed in their tribe. After that, we participated in a round dance to bring all the tribes together.
The next day, I traveled to Capitol Hill to meet congressmen to discuss issues on our land. I met Mark Meadows (R-NC), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Tom Cole (R-OK) to name a few, with whom I became acquainted. Later, I went with the Tribal Council and the Close-Up Students to dinner to celebrate our accomplishments. Also, I had the privilege of meeting Pat Parker who is part of the National Park Service to discuss the issues on an alternative route for the Cherokee High School.
I’d like to thank Jeremy Hyatt for setting up the itinerary for me to visit Capitol Hill. Thank you to Candy and Albert Martin for taking me sightseeing. Council members: Birdtown Rep. Tunnie Crowe, Chairman Jim Owle, Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell, Big Cove Rep. Bo Taylor, Painttown Rep. Terry Henry, Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Adam Wachacha, and Vice Chairman Bill Taylor; thank you for spending time with us and taking us to dinner.
Thank you Wilson Pipestem and Paxton Meyers, for showing me around Capital Hill. You made this an exciting and learning experience for me.
If you would like to invite me to an upcoming event, feel free to contact my coordinator Jean Bushyhead at firstname.lastname@example.org.