Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, 2018-19 Junior Miss Cherokee Kaitlyn Pinkerton and Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Kaitlyn Pinkerton, 15, of Claremore, was crowned 2018-19 Junior Miss Cherokee after competing at the 27th Annual Junior Miss Cherokee Competition Saturday.
While representing the tribe as Junior Miss Cherokee, Pinkerton, a sophomore at Claremore High School, will serve as a goodwill ambassador to promote the Cherokee Nation and share the culture and history of the tribe.
“All of our Cherokee ambassadors set an important example for our tribe, and earning the title of Junior Miss Cherokee is something to be very proud of,” Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “We are very proud to have a young lady with such grace and heart for people to serve in this position over the next year. Chief Baker, I and the rest of our administration look forward to serving alongside her in the coming months.”
Pinkerton is the daughter of Amy Pinkerton and is a member of the Cherokee National Youth Choir.
“It feels so surreal to earn this title,” Pinkerton said. “My favorite part of the competition is always making new friends, and I think that is what I am most looking forward to about serving as Junior Miss Cherokee as well. I love to meet new people, and that will definitely be a great part of this experience.”
During the competition, contestants are judged on their use of Cherokee language, a cultural presentation and a speech on their platform, as well as their response to an impromptu question.
One of four contestants, Pinkerton received high marks for her language skills, as well as her rendition of the song “North Wind” performed in Cherokee. Her platform speech focused on the importance of mental health awareness, a topic that she has shared all over the United States.
“My platform is about mental health awareness and how important it is to address the stigma that surrounds it,” Pinkerton said.
Along with her new title, Pinkerton has plans to continue her work with mental health awareness, including organizing a school club called youth MOVE.
The Cherokee Nation will host the 2018 Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition Saturday at Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Tahlequah at 6 p.m. The ambassador competitions are held in conjunction with the 66th Cherokee National Holiday.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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