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Miss Hé Sapa Wiń…Black Hills Powwow Princess!

Posted By PowWows.com November 1st, 2015 Last Updated on: January 20th, 2016

Crowning new Royalty at the Black Hills Powwow!

Crowning new Royalty at the Black Hills Powwow!

 

Powwows are a precious part of life for this new Princess!

Powwows are a precious part of life for this new Princess!

Q) Congratulations! We are so happy for you! What an honor for you to be crowned at this year's Black Hills Powwow! Please introduce yourself to us?

A) Hello, my name is Elaina Red Shirt. I am from Allen, SD which is located on the Pine Ridge reservation.

Q) We would love to hear about your life in Pine Ridge! What would you like to share with us about your tribal heritage? Powwows are so important to us here…what do they mean to you?

A) I am 17 years old & a senior at the Bennett County High School. I descend from the Oglala Lakota tribe. I've been dancing jingle since I was 2 years old. Attending powwows at a young age has educated me about certain things that take place in the circle. They're important to me because it allows me to meet different people and make a lot of memories. I travel extensively to different states throughout the year. Powwows also encourage me to learn more about my culture and language.

Q) Culture matters, it really does! Your tribe has such beautiful ways! What does your language mean to your life?

A) My parents are both fluent Lakota speakers so they also motivate me to speak my language. As Oglala Lakota people, we are statistically the poorest in the nation, but yet we are rich in our culture & traditions. I encourage the youth to hold on to their traditions and to learn their language.

Q) Why are you so passionate about your tribal traditions?

A) Our culture, traditions, and language are what gives us our identity.

Q) And now you're an ambassador for your precious life ways! Tell us how?

A) During the 29th annual Hé Sapa Wacipi, I was crowned Miss Hé Sapa Wiń. I had the opportunity to say a welcoming speech immediately after crowning & helped with the tiny tots as well. I also had the chance to meet with the committee & felt welcomed by people I've barely met.

Q)Congratulations!How are you enjoying your reign so far?

A) So far, my reign has been an enjoyable experience for me. It has gotten me more publicity which will allow me to bring awareness to problems we face on my reservation.

Q) Are you focusing on certain issues during your reign?

A)I hope to influence the youth on certain topics I feel strongly about, like suicide awareness, self love and confidence.

Q) Very important issues throughout Native America! Why did you choose to champion these causes?

A) I think that a lot of our youth & young adults are constantly being told they're not worthy when really each of us have a purpose.

Q)True! How do you plan to share this perspective and to empower others?

A) I plan to do speaking engagements at schools on my reservation & at different events.

Q) When you speak, what is some of the advice you plan to share…especially with young ladies who might want to follow in your footsteps?

A) Some advice I have for anyone who's interested in participating in pageants is to not be nervous. It shows when you've confidence in yourself & when you're having fun with whatever you're doing. Also, it is important to carry your traditions, culture & values with you. Remember where you come from is very important.

Q) What wise advice! You are very well-grounded and a great role model! Anything else you'd care to share?

A) In closing, I would like to thank the Hé Sapa Wacipi committee for allowing me to carry their prestigious title & for believing in me. I would like to invite everyone back to the 30th annual Hé Sapa Wacipi.
Q) Many thanks!

A) Pilamiyé, Miss Hé Sapa Wiń miye.


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