Miss Cherokee report for November
By TARAN SWIMMER
MISS CHEROKEE 2015
Si-yo, Season Greetings to all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to spend as much time as possible with family and friends during this holiday.
As I mentioned in my last month’s report, my journey as your Miss Cherokee 2015 has begun and I have been blessed with many invites to a lot of wonderful events. The month of November was declared in 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month, and I was so honored to have been able to attend some of the events which were held in our communities and in other counties.
Western Carolina University had several events the month of November, and I was able to attend three of the events that they held. The first event was a meet-and-greet for the new WCU Cherokee Studies Professor Dr. Briggs. This event was held on Monday, Nov. 2 at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center. I enjoyed meeting Dr. Briggs and other Cherokee Studies faculty from WCU and discussing the future of Cherokee Studies.
The second event, which WCU had, was the EBCI day. It was held during a home football game on Saturday, Nov. 7. The Catamounts took on Furman and were victorious 48-10. I was honored to be able to go out on the field with the captains of both teams and was asked to flip the coin to see who would receive or kick off at the start of the game. I was honored to have been a part of this event, not only as Miss Cherokee, but also as a proud student of WCU. The WCU Cherokee center did an amazing job with the tailgate and with getting all of our royalty recognized at the beginning of the football game. The last event that WCU had was the opening of the Native American Expo which was on the campus of WCU. It was a very nice ceremony, and Little Miss Cherokee Madison Ledford, Junior Miss Cherokee Abigail Taylor, Teen Miss Cherokee Blake Wachacha and myself were given the opportunity to share with those that were present a little about ourselves and what we want to share with the public about our heritage and culture. A big thank you to Roseanna Belt for inviting all of the royalty to these events and making them a huge success.
I attended two events at the New Kituwah Academy. The first event was the raising of the colors by our Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143 on Friday, Nov. 13. I feel that it is very important to respect the American and EBCI flag and show respect to all of the men and women who have served and are serving now in our military. The students of the New Kituwah Academy said the pledge and honored the raising of the flag in our language. It was an awesome event, and I am very blessed to have taken part in it. The other event that I was able to attend was during the heritage week at New Kituwah Academy. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, I had the pleasure of making pottery with a few classes at the Kituwah Academy. It was such a rewarding experience to be able to sit with the students and create something out of clay. I really enjoyed hearing the students communicate with each other in our language. Thank you Samantha Crowe-Hernandez and Micah Swimmer for inviting me to attend these two wonderful events. All staff at the New Kituwah Academy do an amazing jog with keeping our language and culture alive.
Cherokee High School also had several events during the month of November in honor of National American Indian Heritage month. I was able to attend one of their events, and it was a pow wow on Wednesday, Nov. 25. I enjoyed taking part in the grand entry for all dancers and watching the students and adults take pride in their culture by getting out and showing off their regalia’s and dance moves. Thank you Laura Pinnix, Deborah Foerst and Craig Barker for inviting me to this special event.
The last events that I attended were pretty fun as well. I was able to go and eat Thanksgiving dinner with my community in Big Cove. There was lots of great food, and it was nice to fellowship with my community members. I was honored to be able to go to Tsali Care Center on Nov. 25 and take part in their Thanksgiving dinner and visit with the residents there. I enjoyed talking with a lot of the residents and their family members. The last event that I took part in kicked off the Christmas season. I was in the Franklin Christmas parade on Sunday, Nov. 29. Even though it was cold and rainy, I had a great time. The people in Franklin where so kind and welcoming to me.
I want to thank God for blessing me and allowing me to take part in all of these events and for letting me meet so many wonderful people. I am so thankful to my mother, family, friends and royalty board members who help me get to these events and make sure that everything is ready when I get there. If you have an upcoming event you would like for me to attend please send any information about the event to email@example.com.
I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and their families, I pray that God will continue to bless and keep you all safe during the holidays.