TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —Briggs seventh-grader Chelbie Turtle, of Tahlequah, was named Jr. Miss Cherokee on August 16.
For the next year, Turtle will act as a goodwill ambassador for the tribe, promoting the government, language, history and traditions of the Cherokee people.
Four teens competed at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center in four categories: cultural presentation, interview, impromptu question and speech on their platform. Turtle earned her sash and crown after she told the traditional story of how strawberries came to be, sang “Amazing Grace” in Cherokee and gave a speech on the importance of higher education.
Turtle is the daughter of Jeff Turtle and Lisa Trice-Turtle, who was the 1986-87 Miss Cherokee.
During her reign as Jr. Miss Cherokee, Turtle hopes to promote the importance of higher education to Cherokee youth. In addition to the crown, Turtle also received the cultural presentation award.
Elizabeth Hummingbird, 16, of Stilwell, was named first runner-up and won co-Miss Congeniality. Danya Pigeon, 15, of Tahlequah, received the traditional dress award. Tatianna Slover-Birdtail, 14, of Tahlequah, was named co-Miss Congeniality.
Turtle will officially be crowned preceding Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s State of the Nation address. The Jr. Miss Cherokee competition is held each year in conjunction with the Cherokee National Holiday. The Miss Cherokee competition is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Church in Tahlequah.