Muldrow High School freshman Lauryn Skye McCoy (above) of Sallisaw was crowned the 2016-17 Junior Miss Cherokee during the 25th annual competition Saturday.
For the next year, McCoy will act as a goodwill ambassador for the tribe, promoting the government, language, history and traditions of the Cherokee people.
Six teens competed for the honor at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center in three categories: cultural presentation, impromptu question and a speech on their platform. McCoy, 15, earned her sash and crown after she demonstrated how to make traditional shell shackles for stomp dancing, answered why she thought Cherokee society has always held women in high esteem and gave a speech on the importance of building self-confidence in Native youth.
“It means I get to carry on the traditions of the past winners,” McCoy said. “I also hope to spread awareness about who we are and what we do as a tribe, as well as my platform.”
McCoy is the daughter of Gregg and Betty Jo McCoy. She previously served as the 10 to 12-year-old 2014-15 Little Cherokee Ambassador.
Natalie Gibson, 16, of Miami was named first runner-up, with Danya Pigeon, 17, of Hulbert named second runner-up. The Junior Miss Cherokee competition is held each year in conjunction with the Cherokee National Holiday held over the Labor Day holiday. The Miss Cherokee competition is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Church in Tahlequah.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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