In regards to what I will be facing in the upcoming month; I already submitted two letters of recommendation and an essay to the Miss Indian World Pageant Committee, and the pageant itself will span from April 26- April 30.
But, to be considered a competitor I have to sell a minimum of 500 raffle tickets. So if I can do this, upon the start I will undergo an interview, present a traditional talent, answer an impromptu question, and partake in a dance competition to showcase just how intensive my knowledge base is. But the question that always comes up is:
“Why do you want to run for Miss Indian World?”
And you don’t want to know how many times I’ve been asked this question and how many times my answer has changed.
In saying this you might think that my response has changed because I don’t know the answer, but the reason is, is that I had to do a lot of soul searching to figure myself out in the year that I’ve been preparing for this competition.
You see, all of the hard work that has to go into a competition like this takes focus and determination. The only way that I can maintain a high level of each is by remembering who I am, who I represent, where I come from and every single person that has touched my life.
I’ve been blessed to have a lot of amazing, talented and intelligent people come in to my life as teachers, mentors, friends, and family. And what did they do for me? They shared their experience, taught, guided, motivated, encouraged and inspired me to be the person that I am today.
So the reason I am entering this pageant is to honour those people – to do what they did for me for others. That might be what sets me a part.
I’ve been Miss Six Nations, and I will be grateful forever for everything the experience gave me. It’s just that it takes one heck of a person to not become self-absorbed or arrogant – people want to take your picture, people care about what you have to say, people open doors for you and ultimately treat you like you are royalty.
This is usually what many assume pageant competitors want; the fame and recognition. And perhaps that is true for other pageants, but for this one, I would have to say no. I don’t mind if I don’t bring back the title because I know how hard I have worked and if someone else is crowned, that means they worked harder than me. In truth, they would deserve it.
I did my own bead-work, I made my own cloth regalia, I learned how to make a traditional lacrosse stick and helped to finish my own, I put myself out of my comfort zone, and I excessively practice and study our community, language and culture. I am going to this pageant to represent myself, my family, my ancestors, my people and my community. And I am going in with the mindset that I am there to educate, inform and share.
To finalize my position as a MIW contestant, I will be selling tickets at $2.50 a piece in the Ohsweken Plaza on Thursday, March 24 to ensure my position as a competitor. Huge thanks to those that have already purchased tickets, nia:wen.