By ANGELA GUNTER
My name is Angela Lambert Gunter. I am a member of the Birdtown Community, and I am the proud mother of four children, two step children, and 11 grandchildren. I am also a proud mother of a former Miss Cherokee, 2016-17. My daughter Amorie Brook Gunter, wore her crown with great pride. To her, as well as all of the former Miss Cherokees, she wore this crown to represent the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, to be an ambassador for our Tribe.
With this crown comes huge responsibilities. Each young woman that has that crown placed upon their head has a contract to sign that states how this young woman must conduct herself during her reign, as well as outlining her responsibilities. What a lot of people probably don’t understand about this honor is that it is not easy.
There is a lot of work involved during these young women’s reign as Miss Cherokee. They have countless appearances and events they must attend, public speaking, and lots of travel. It is just like a job that they do not get paid for – but a job each one takes on because of the honor bestowed upon them. This honor is not about winning a popularity contest, because to each one of these young women, it is about so much more than that.
These young women truly represent what it means to be a strong Cherokee woman. They take great pride in knowing as much as they possibly can about their history, culture, and language. As a mother, I know the hard work and sacrifices these young women put into winning this honor, and the honor of wearing that crown. I oftentimes wondered why my daughter chose to take this path because of the incredible amount of work that she put into, but I now completely understand why she chose this path. To her, it was all about the honor of serving the Cherokee people, by representing our Tribe, with honor, dignity, integrity, and serving as a role model for our younger Cherokee girls and women.
My daughter served very well, as I feel all mothers of former Miss Cherokees feel their daughters did. She worked very hard with her Cherokee Language skills and learning more about her culture. She held several fundraisers to raise money for her platform, Childhood Cancer. She spoke well at each event she attended and worked so hard to always be at her best at each event that she attended. I served as her chaperone and photographer. She did all of the work herself. I want to give a huge shout out to our former Miss Cherokees for a job well done, and to give a very special shout out to my daughter, Amorie Gunter, Miss Cherokee 2016-17, I love you and am so very proud of you.