Published August 30, 2016
TAHLEQUAH —Northeastern State University senior Sky Wildcat, 21, is the new Miss Cherokee after being crowned Saturday during a leadership competition at Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Tahlequah.
Wildcat receives a $3,000 scholarship and for the next year will represent the Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador to promote the government, history, language and culture of the Cherokee people.
“The role of Miss Cherokee is a highly visible position, as it means traveling across Oklahoma and the United States representing the Cherokee Nation, serving as a youth ambassador and visiting with Cherokees of all ages and all walks of life,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Miss Cherokee has always been an asset to our tribal government, and that is true again this year. It’s important Cherokee Nation recognizes a role model, like Sky Wildcat, who exemplifies the best qualities of our tribal youth.”
Wildcat, of Tahlequah, is the daughter of Victor and Tammy Wildcat. She competed against nine other young women for the crown. The Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition judged contestants on their use of the Cherokee language, cultural and platform presentations, and an impromptu question.
“Being crowned Miss Cherokee means I get to represent our tribe and represent the young Cherokee women that competed tonight who represent resilience and strength much like our ancestors,” Wildcat said.
For her cultural presentation, Wildcat shared the history of traditional Cherokee basket weaving. Wildcat’s platform focused on protecting our land and water and preserving our natural resources.
“I really want to advocate for my platform of environmental preservation during my year as an ambassador for the tribe,” Wildcat said. “I also just want to educate others and our youth that there is a lot that they can do to change the world.”
Wildcat’s first public event as Miss Cherokee will be Saturday’s State of the Nation Address at the 64th Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah.
Miss Cherokee first runner-up was Amari McCoy, of Sallisaw, who earned a $2,000 scholarship. Second runner-up was Madison Shoemaker, of Muskogee, who earned a $1,000 scholarship.
Judges for the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition were Gloria Mitchell Cooksey, Linda Holderby, Stacy Leeds and Curtis Washington.
Past Miss Cherokees have met with President Barack Obama, attended a White House Generation Indigenous Initiative for Native Youth, spoke at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and attended many events hosted by the tribe.