By TAYLOR WILNOTY
MISS CHEROKEE 2014
Siyo nigada! Hello everyone! I have had a wonderful first month of summer, and I was happy to have gotten to spend it with my community. Although I only had three events come up this month, they were very amazing and important!
My first event was June 5 at the Remember the Removal Bike Ride send-off ceremony, where myself, along with others from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation sent off a group of bike riders from both bands on a two-week, 900-mile journey to Talequah, Okla.
On this bike ride, they were taken on one of the routes our ancestors were forced to walk during the “Trail Of Tears.” It was a beautiful celebration, wishing the bikers a safe journey, and seeing the two bands come together as one.
My second event was in Atlanta for Native American Heritage Weekend at Philips Arena hosted by the Atlanta Dream, where Native American basketball player Shoni Schimmel plays! It was my first ever professional basketball game, and I was so excited to finally get to see Shoni play in person. I was so excited to see such an inspiration to our community, and watch her do what she does best!
My last event was one very personal to me. During my platform for the Miss Cherokee Pageant, I talked about wanting to bring more awareness to the community about Epilepsy. So, on June 27, I organized the 1st Annual Cherokee Epilepsy Walk/Balloon Release. I was so overwhelmed with the outcome of supporters from the community. We had over 60 people show up and participate in the walk. Many were there in support of my platform, and others were there because someone they love has or had epilepsy. I held this event in honor of my older brother who passed away six years ago on June 27, but I also held it to show those that are living on the Qualla Boundary with epilepsy that they’re not alone and many people care about them. I will be holding this event every June, and I hope my supporters continue to grow. I had an amazing month, and I know July will be just the same! Sgi! Thank you!
If you would like for me to attend an event, please contact Tooter Owens with your request!