NEO Names 2017 Miss Indian NEO
Miami, Okla. – Monday, November 13, 2017 ¬– The American Indian Center for Excellence (AICE) and the Native American Student Association (NASA) at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) recently hosted the annual Miss Indian NEO crowning ceremony and Ravyn Whitebird (Comanche, Quapaw, Choctaw, Eastern Shawnee, and Blackfoot) from Indiahoma, Okla. was named as the 2017 Miss Indian NEO.
The competition, in its sixth year since its re-introduction to campus, was open to female NEO students who met GPA requirements. Whitebird was selected for her involvement in NASA and academic success. Along with the title and the chance to compete in the national competition, the President’s Partners from NEO contributed a $200 scholarship to Whitebird.
“Receiving this title was an enormous honor and comes with many responsibilities,” said Whitebird. “I feel very humbled to represent not only NEO, but my tribes and my family as well. I hope to promote communication. I want to establish a better understanding of our culture and traditions to the public and work with the Native community to be more open and accepting of mistranslations and miscommunications and recognize this as an opportunity to teach others. I want to be used as an example to reach out to our Native youth and show them the importance of seeking a form of higher education to encourage future generations to succeed.”
Cherokee storyteller Mr. Greg Bilby emceed the pageant and Miss Indian NEO 2016 Cheyenne Watson (Miami) crowned Whitebird. During the pageant, Bilby also presented the story of how a young Indian girl made the first pot with the help of a mischievous mud dauber.
“I chose this story for Ravyn because the young girl doesn’t keep her discovery to herself,” said Bilby. “She chose to share her knowledge and that improved everyone’s lives.”
For more information about AICE, contact Rachel Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and for a full photo album, visit facebook.com/gogoneo.
(Photo from left: Current Miss Indian NEO Ravyn Whitebird (Comanche, Quapaw, Choctaw, Eastern Shawnee, and Blackfoot), 2016 Miss Indian NEO Cheyenne Watson (Miami))