TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Vinita Elementary School student Casey Henderson was crowned Saturday, Aug. 8 as the 2015-16 Little Cherokee Ambassador in the 10-12 age category.
Nearly 20 Cherokee children competed in three age divisions at Sequoyah Schools’ gym. The competition marked the beginning of this year’s Cherokee National Holiday events on Sept. 4-6.
Henderson, 11, of Welch, Okla. told a traditional story, correctly named a former principal chief, answered that the black star on the Cherokee Nation flag represents the Cherokee ancestors who died on the Trail of Tears and that the pillars at the Cherokee Heritage Center represent the first Cherokee Female Seminary that burned on Easter Sunday in 1887.
“At first I was really nervous about the competition, because I thought I wasn’t going to win, but when they announced my name I was like wow, that felt really special,” Henderson said.
Joining Henderson in the male division of Little Cherokee Ambassador is Tahlequah Middle School student Nathan Lowrey, 11, of Tahlequah, Okla.
Hulbert Elementary student Max Purget, 8, and Brushy Elementary student Maysi Fields, 8, of Sallisaw, Okla. won in the 7-9 age division.
Winning in the 4-6 age division was Kashyah Teehee, 5, and Logan Dreadfulwater, 5, both who attend the Cherokee Immersion Charter School.
The Junior Miss Cherokee competition is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22 at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center and the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Cornerstone Church in Tahlequah.
– Anadisgoi (Cherokee Nation newsroom)