Keya’s Lakota name is “Ta Oyate Iyucupi Waciyan Win” – Makes People Happy Through Her Dancing. She is proof that this is her name.
Keya described her worst experience during her reign was like one of those bad dreams when you are trying to run somewhere down a long hallway and the hallway just gets longer and longer. It didn’t happen often but when she was late and rushing around: no safety pins for the sash, crown on crooked, etc. Keya said, “It’s all about presentation. Be prepared.”
Keya reflected on her favorite memories. She said, “I was always meeting so many new girls – all with their smiles and bright eyes. They are always so happy to see me. They were idolizing me and I felt a responsibility to be a better role model.”
Keya said that her family is always proud of her, but she will miss most that special beaming, an all-encompassing pride that she sees in their faces when she enters any arena as the Denver March Princess.
She is 22 years old and her tribal affiliations are Sicangu Lakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota, Meskwaki, and Leech Lake Ojibwe. She continues the pursuit of her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Keya loves sewing, beading, swimming, running, basketball, and hiking the parks and forests in Colorado, and endeavors to pursue further her photography.
Keya volunteers with many Denver Native organizations helping today’s youth.
Keya wanted to offer some advice to the incoming Denver March Princess for 2017-2018. “Always be one and a half hours early for the grand entry. Be ready to meet a LOT of new people. they want to greet you and you will see that they are excited for you to be princess. Smile.”
Keya added that when she was 9 or 10 years old, she wanted to be Denver March Powwow Princess. She said that she knew that she needed the grades and that she needed to be on her best behavior at all times. Keya said “I needed to show that I was responsible and would be a good idol for other girls.”
Keya, you have served the Denver March Powwow, your family and your community well. You are indeed a role model for others that follow you.