The “Miss Indian World” pageant kicked off the 33rd annual “Gathering of Nations” Powwow on Thursday night April 28, 2016. It took place inside the Kiva auditorium at Albuquerque, NM. 24 Native and Indigenous young women represented tribes from across the United States and Canada. Each one performed their traditional talent presentations in front of a packed audience filled with family, friends and fans of the annual pageant.
Lisa Meeches and Jason Whitehouse hosted the event. Cheyenne Brady who is the current “Miss Indian World 2015-16″ welcomed everyone and congratulated the contestants at this year’s pageant. Each young lady came onstage and spoke their native languages dressed in their traditional regalia from their perspective tribes.
The evenings talent was folk-rock singer Samantha Crain. She sung several songs which the audience responded to enthusiastically. The over all theme weaved its’ way through each contestant about the strength of Native women within each tribe. All of them connected to the earth, songs, language, war veterans, elders and children.
Below are the 24 contestants running for “Miss Indian World” 2016-17.
Akeshia Trudeau (Odawa/Ojibwe Potawatomi), Annalissa Dequine-Pasapa (Hunk Pap/Oglala Lokota/Stoney Nakoda/Plains Cree), Ariane Medley (Haida), Alyssa Schmidt (Seneca), Billie-Jean Teehee (Cherokee), Carmel Olson (Objibway), Caitlin Cote Tolley (Algonquin/Anishinabe), Chezney Martin (Seneca), Destiny Nunez (Seminole), Emery-Rose (Dakota Sioux/Plains Cree), Elizabeth Ferguson (Kotzebue) and Evangelina Lopez ( Blackfeet/Assinoboine/Gros Ventre).
Jewel Honga (Hualapai/Dine’), Keeyana Yellowman (Wasco Warm Springs/Dine’), Kimberly DeJesus Comanche/Otoe-Missouria/Pawnee), Megan Byers (Mescalero Apache), Nanvy Deere-Turney (Muscogee/Creek), Stormie Perdash (Shoshone-Bannock), Edith Starr (San Carlos Apache), Santana Young Man (Oglala Lakota), Shaundeen Bear (Meskwaki/Navajo), Danielle Finn (Standing Rock Sioux), Sariah Harlen (Omaha Tribe) and Sophia Ponce (Mescalero Apache).