Each year during the Cherokee National Holiday in September, a new Miss Cherokee is crowned to reign over the holiday festivities and to represent the Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador throughout the year to come. The Cherokee Nation invites young Cherokee women to enter the 2009 contest, to vie for scholarships, recognition and the experience of a lifetime.

To be eligible to compete for the Miss Cherokee title, contestants must be a Cherokee Nation citizen between the ages of 17 and 22 before August 29, 2009, and be at least one quarter Cherokee. 

Other eligibility requirements must be met.

Application packets must include all required documents and must be postmarked no later than July 17, 2009. Applicants who submit the required information by the deadline will be notified that they are an official candidate for the 2009 Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition. The Miss Cherokee Leadership participants will be judged in several categories, including an interview, platform presentation, social skills, tribal knowledge and their usage of the Cherokee language.

According to Nancy Scott, Miss Cherokee Competition Leadership coordinator, several scholarships are will be awarded as part of the competition, including a $3,000 scholarship to the winner, and $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships provided to the first and second runners-up respectively. Miss Cherokee Leadership serves as a messenger to promote the government, history, language and culture of the Cherokee people and as a special representative of the Cherokee Nation, the winner can look forward to a year of travel to many exciting events and places.

Participants in the competition will be asked to show their leadership attributes by demonstrating knowledge of cultural activities and skills, a history of community service and leadership and the desire to share those qualities with the public in a gracious, professional manner.  Contestants must be able to fulfill the physical duties of the position including travel and public appearances, if selected, and official appearances begin Saturday, September 5, immediately following the crowning.

Feather Smith of Tahlequah serves as the current Miss Cherokee.

To request an application or for more information, contact Nancy Scott at (918) 453-5259 or by e-mail at nscott@cherokee.org