By KARYL FRANKIEWICZ
MISS CHEROKEE 2012
As my reign comes to a close, it has been an honor serving the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians as your Miss Cherokee this past year. The job of being an ambassador has been a remarkable experience to represent the tribe and make better connections with other various tribes throughout Indian country. It is a bittersweet moment that I’ll be ending my reign by the end of this month and hand down the title to the next Miss Cherokee.
I got to take part in Folkmoot USA 30th anniversary with the Warriors of Anikituwah, where we represented, alongside other visiting countries, our traditional dances. We took part in the world friendship dance with the other dancers, during the closing ceremony.
For the Trout Derby, Teen Miss Bradley Welch, Junior Miss Aliyah Bigmeat, Little Miss Marcela Garcia and I handed out fishing poles during the morning and throughout the day, cleaned fish. I also watched the Warrior dock dogs warm up for their jumps after the derby.
I was blessed to take part in the Relay for Life in Cherokee to help support the fight against cancer with Junior Miss Aliyah and Little Miss Marcela. We watched and cheered the survivor’s lap and dunked some volunteers at the dunking booth. On the Cherokee day held at McCormick fields for the Asheville Tourists game, I got to speak on behalf of the Eastern Band to bring in the game with Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Junior Miss Aliyah, and Little Miss Marcela.
It was such a blessing to travel out to Tahlequah, Okla. to be a part of the Cherokee National Holiday with Junior Miss Aliyah and Little Miss Marcela. We got to meet Cherokee Nation Principal Chief John Baker and tour the administrative offices with the newly crowned Jr. Miss Cherokee (Okla.) LaNice Belcher and Miss Cherokee (Okla.) Julia Thornton. We got to visit various museums like the John Ross museum and the Village, which is much similar than our own. We also took part in the grand entry and intertribal dances at the powwow and was recognized at the State of the Nation Address. The Chief’s float that we rode on during the parade won “Best Float” and “Best of Show” as we celebrated the theme of the Holiday, “Home. Health. Hope.”
I met even more representatives of different countries as I danced with the Warriors of Anikituwah for the opening ceremony of the International Canoe Championship. I met dignitaries from places like Costa Rica, France, and Russia. I also got to take part in the “Island Fall Festival” at Vonore, Tenn. to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. There, I got to speak during the opening ceremony and dance with the Warriors of Anikituwah to present our traditions.
Thank you Barbara Duncan for letting me attend the Folkmoot and the International Canoe Championship to represent the Eastern Band to various dignitaries around the world. Yolanda Saunooke, thank you, for inviting me to take part in helping out at the Trout Derby. Elnora Thompson, thank you for informing me about a marvelous event to support the fight on cancer. Thank you Bob Jones and Ashville Tourists, plus Ashleigh Brown and the Office of the Principal Chief for letting me speak and attend the Cherokee Day at McCormick fields in Asheville. Thank you Cherokee Nation, Tonette Hummingbird and Lisa Trice-Turtle for inviting me to Tahlequah to take part in a wonderful event. You were wonderful hosts. Thank you Linda, from the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, for inviting me to take part in a great event. Thank you Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Royalty Board for helping me in many various ways during my reign. You helped me to represent our Tribe to the best of my abilities. Also, a special thank you to my family and friends for supporting me and believing in me this past year. I couldn’t have done it without you.