Si yo, on Oct. 5, I was crowned Junior Miss Cherokee. I am Cecily Dvdaya Swimmer, and I am 10-years-old. My parents are Micah and Carrah Swimmer, and I have two little brothers named Ogana (named after my grandpa John Henry Maney) and Uwelug Derrick (named after the late Derick Taylor and my uncle Derrick Shawnee).
I attend New Kituwah Academy, and I am in the fifth grade. I am honored to represent the Eastern Band of Cherokees as this year’s Junior Miss ambassador. I look forward to traveling with my fellow princesses and especially traveling with my family.
I would like to thank Amanda Moore for coordinating our pageant alongside Amorie Gunter. Amanda spent her Mondays with nine little girls. I am glad it was Mrs. Amanda; no one else. Amanda, thank you for all your support and feedback. I would like to thank Sew Tsalagi for not only preparing my outfits but also all the outfits on stage worn by other contestants and previous royalty. I see the countless hours that your shop puts into making these beautiful outfits. I love you Nan, Memaw, and Charlie Brown.
Big shout out to Sara Snyder for working with me on my talent. The song “Home” from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was a success. All credit goes to you and the Cherokee speakers who translated this piece.
Sgi to the ABC Board for the donation to my pageant this year. The donation went to help purchase my clothes that I wore in the parade and my traditional outfit. Richard and Linda Saunooke, sgi for always being huge supporters not only with this year’s pageant but with every activity I participate in, we love you both.
My family has supported me in many ways this pageant. Tina and Taran provided me with a beautiful black goose cape and a ride for the parade. Did I mention Taran is my best friend? Madison Crowe also provided me with a black turkey cape. I will miss you this year as you were my Miss Cherokee when I was Little Miss. Thank you for your continued support.
To the Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143, thank you for including me in your opening ceremonies with the presentation of the flags. You fine gentlemen gave me the courage to sing in public and large crowds. Thank you for believing in me.
The parade was a huge success. A big thank you to the EBCI Gaming Commission and Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Your donation helped me purchase candy. Others include: Smoky Mountain Youth Competition Cheer Team, Ethan and Sunni Clapsaddle and Family, Kayla and John Swimmer, Bradley Welch, Maney Family, Swimmer Family, Younce Family, and extended family and friends.
I would also like to thank Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed for the silver broach given to me after I was crowned. Thank you to the Pageant Board for giving me this opportunity to wear the beautiful crown and represent my Tribe. Like I said in my speech, it’s not about a crown to me, it’s about being an ambassador to my people, and I stand by my word and will make the Cherokee people proud.
Cecily Dvdaya Swimmer
Junior Miss Cherokee 2017-18