By FAITH LONG
MISS CHEROKEE 2017-18
I know I always start my updates with how this month has been crazy, but they keep getting crazier and busier!
This month, I had two main events: Cherokee Days and Gathering of Nations. I attended Cherokee days with the other Eastern Band Royalty and was grateful for how close we became on this trip. I was also fortunate enough to become closer with Miss and Jr. Miss Cherokee Nation. That week was one of the most rewarding experiences that I was lucky enough to have. There were so many Cherokee people coming together to share our culture. To see the differences between each Cherokee tribe as a result of the removal was not troubling, because I also saw our similarities. I realized that we are one people that has been separated by centuries of injustice, but who are not afraid to come together and celebrate.
My next trip was to Gathering of Nations. When I say that this was one of the best experiences of my life, I really mean it. There were so many native people celebrating their heritage. We had an EBCI member competing for the title of Miss Indian World, and I would like to personally congratulate her on how amazing she did! As a former Miss Cherokee and Miss Indian North Carolina, she really honored her people and herself! Grand Entry the next day was one of the coolest things that I have ever gotten to do. This experience was made much better because I was joined by my mother, grandmother, my aunt, her mother, her mother’s friend, and my cousin Samantha. There was so much art and culture in New Mexico. It was incorporated into everything. It was in the airport, road work details and the daily life in Albuquerque.
During all of this excitement, I was finishing up my sophomore year of college and now I am waiting on my final grades. I turned in my last business project while I was at Gathering. Also during Gathering, I received some really big news. I was honored as a member of the 2018 Unity 25 under 25. Please look up this honor if you get the chance! I will get to travel to San Diego in July to receive this honor.
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