(L to R) Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker crowns Julie Thornton, 18, of Gore, as Miss Cherokee 2013-14, along with Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Julie Thornton, of Gore, was crowned the new Miss Cherokee at a leadership competition Saturday at Cornerstone Fellowship in Tahlequah.
Thornton, a Northeastern State University freshman, receives a $3,000 scholarship and will represent the Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador to promote the government, history, language and culture of the Cherokee people over the next year.
“To win the crown is rewarding, but I am very excited and proud to serve our wonderful Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador,” Thornton said. “I am looking forward to being amongst our Cherokee people and teaching about our culture, history and traditions.”
Thornton, 18, was Jr. Miss Cherokee in 2012-2013. She is studying Cherokee Language and Speech and Language Pathology at NSU. She is the daughter of Jerry and DeAnn Thornton.
The Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition is judged on several categories, including the use of the Cherokee language, cultural presentations, platform presentations and impromptu interviews.
A native speaker, Thornton spoke Cherokee throughout her presentations, including an explanation of the rules and history behind traditional stickball, marbles and Indian football. Her platform is healthy living.
“As Miss Cherokee, I will encourage and teach ways to eat right, stay active and have fun while doing it,” Thornton said.
When judges asked Thornton in her impromptu question one thing she would change in the tribe, she answered, “to see the tribe’s Cherokee fluency rate increase.”
Thornton will make her first public appearance as Miss Cherokee following the State of the Nation Address at the 61st Cherokee National Holiday on Labor Day weekend. She will wear a new crown designed by Cherokee artist William “Demos” Glass.
Miss Cherokee first runner-up went to Ja-Li-Sa Pittman, 19, of Tahlequah, who earned a $2,000 scholarship. Second runner-up went to Cheyenne Roach, 19, of Tahlequah, who earned a $1,000 scholarship. Third runner-up went to Lani Hansen, 20, of Colcord, who earned a $500 scholarship.
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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