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United Tribes Technical College

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A member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma is the new Miss Indian Nations. Cody Harjo (Seminole/Otoe/Creek) was crowned the twelfth Miss Indian Nations September 6 during the 34th Annual United Tribes International Powwow.

Miss Harjo is a descendant of the Otoe, Creek, Cherokee and Iowa tribes. Her parents, Leonard and Sheila Harjo, Ada, OK, were present for her coronation by the outgoing Miss Indian Nations, Vijaya Sharee Watson.

¬"Vijaya is the best example of what Miss Indian Nations should be,¬" said Harjo in a speech to over 5,000 powwow spectators at Lone Star Arena on the United Tribes campus. ¬"I hope to be the best I can possibly be. It¬'s going to be hard to fill her moccasins.¬"

Miss Harjo is a member of the Panther and Buffalo Clan and the Tusekia Harjo Band. As is common among those respectful of American Indian cultural norms, she asked the forgiveness of elders for any breaches in protocol or errors in her public presentation.

Her voice cracked with emotion when recalling the teachings of her maternal grandfather Benjamin Arkeketa. ¬"I feel his absence now. He was a man who led by example.¬" Her maternal grandmother, Mary Freeman, resides in Sand Springs, OK. Through the Arkeketas she is a direct descendant of Chief George Arkeketa.

Miss Harjo credited her paternal grandfather, the late Floyd Harjo, with teaching her the value of education. ¬"He also taught me that we should always be working for the good of the people.¬" Her paternal grandmother is the late Ester Barnoski.

Along with the Miss Indian Nations title comes a $2,000 scholarship, yearlong travel opportunities, sponsorships and numerous gifts. Miss Harjo will continue her undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and plans to attend graduate school to earn a masters degree in education or go to film school. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate scholars. She is a recipient of the Nancy Boehm Carter grant for public policy. She is an original member of the Ballet Folklorico de Dartmouth and she continues to dance fancy shawl and ladies southern cloth.

Contestants were judged on traditional skills, public appearance and presentations, communication skill and speaking ability, personal conduct, and answers to general and impromptu questions. Miss Harjo was named best in talent with an original story inspired by traditional coyote tales entitled, Coyote Goes to WALMART. She also recited an original poem and rapped to demonstrate how poetry is found in popular culture.

Competing for the national title were seven other candidates from tribes around the country. Named First Runner Up was Vicki Marie Alberts (Arikara/Spirit Lake Dakota) an enrolled member of Three Affiliated Tribes, New Town, ND. Selected Second Runner Up was Shere Lynn Wright (Sicangu Lakota) from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Mission, SD. Third Runner Up was Martina R. Gallegos (Hispanic/Ute Mountain Ute), Towaoc, CO.

Jodi Hajicek Slater (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Belcourt, ND, was named Miss Congeniality; Barbara Abrahams (Seneca) Salamanca, NY received the President¬'s Award; Grace Ann Brave Crow (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Mobridge, SD, received the Tribal Chairman¬'s Award.

The Miss Indian Nations program is open to American Indian women ages 17 to 26. It¬'s coordinated through United Tribes Technical College.

¬"The pageant offers an experience in leadership,¬" said Jess Clairmont, pageant coordinator. ¬"It serves in a cross-cultural way by sharing the grace and dignity of American Indian culture and heritage.¬"

Miss Harjo will serve for one year as a cultural ambassador for Indian Nations. United Tribes Technical College coordinates her public appearances. Donations and sponsorships are welcome.

For more information or to schedule an appearance, contact Miss Indian Nations at United Tribes Technical College, 3315 University Drive, Bismarck, ND, 58504, 701-255-3285. Visit the website and click on Miss Indian Nations.

She's a hottie, but not nearly as fine as this years Miss White Mountain Apache. Of course I'm a little biased. I looked for an online picture of her, but since she was recently crowned their not up yet.

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