The fourth annual Miss Native American NSU pageant has been postponed due to social distancing. Traditionally the pageant has brought in numerous Native American students from all NSU campuses and acted as a conduit for Native American culture and expression. Though this is only the fourth pageant since its reworking in 2017, the pageant has allowed a platform for multiple Native American issues and is a hallmark for Native American advocacy in the NSU community.
The original Miss position was changed three and a half years ago and is now set up to better support the titleholder during her reign. Originally the pageant was under the name of the Native American Student Association, one of many NSU Native American student groups, but over time the pageant setup had become the responsibility of the titleholder and any Native American female student could apply whether they were part of NASA or not.
“So when I was Miss NASA the whole support of the pageant was centralized on the titleholder,” said Sky Wildcat, Miss NASA 2016-2017. “That made it hard for that person because they had to go to events as an ambassador and yet still be responsible for the organization of all of the other Miss NASA activities while not having any support from anyone else. So I decided to figure out what I needed to do in order to change some things. I got all of the Native American organizations together to decide on the name and found someone to make a new crown.”
The pageant has traditionally brought students from all campuses as Native American women compete to represent NSU’s diverse Native American population. Each pageant has represented a majority of the Native American student population at NSU representing Navajo, Lenape, Kiowa, Mvskoke Creek, Cherokee and many others. Whoever becomes Miss NANSU then has the opportunity to travel across Oklahoma representing her tribe, her platform and her experiences as a Native American woman at NSU.
“Being Miss NANSU has taught me so much about myself and has helped me grow into a stronger Indigenous woman,” said Quay Hosey, Miss NANSU 2019-2020. “As Miss NANSU you want to be an impact on someone’s life, to step out of your comfort zone, be loud and courageous, and make your ancestors proud. You represent all of NSU’s Native students, you have to do it vigorously but with grace.”
Each year pageant participants select a platform over an important contemporary issue for Native American peoples. Hoseys’ platform this year was over Native American education in foster care. Native American students often have fewer educational opportunities than other ethnicities during foster care so Hosey traveled around Oklahoma speaking out for those students. Other platforms in the past have been over missing and murdered indigenous women, land and water rights and indigenous mental health.
“The participants will be scored on introductions, platforms, traditional talents and impromptu questions throughout the competition,” said Jade Hansen, Miss NANSU staff advisor. “Earlier in the day, the ladies will be scored on a personal interview with the judges. This is also a chance for the 2019 outgoing titleholder to make a speech reflecting on her reign over the past year.”
The fourth annual Miss Native American NSU pageant will be pushed back until late April or early May. The Miss NANSU committee will relay updates on a new date and a possible change of venue in either early or mid-April.
For more information on future competitors and future updates on the pageant, go to the Miss Native American NSU Facebook page. For more information on the pageant, email Jade Hansen at email@example.com.