By Miss Florida Seminole Cheyenne Kippenberger
Being from Hollywood, our Tribal Fair and Pow Wow is one event I look forward to every year. I love the dancers, the visiting tribes and nations, the drums, and the energy it brings right here to our own backyard.
Attending the event just as a community member is always great, but getting to experience the festivities and Pow Wow as Miss Florida Seminole was something I’ll always remember. My favorite part of the weekend was definitely Grand Entry, when you’re stepping out onto that arena with your feet moving to the beat of the drums and the dancers all around you, it is beautiful.
After an eventful weekend, I got to start off my day of love with the Hollywood seniors at their Valentine’s Day party, and boy do they know how to party! We played pin the lips on the Indian dolls, took some silly photos, and shared some good laughs.
It is always time well spent when you get to be around your fellow community members, whether it is for a Valentine’s Day party or for Brighton Field Days. To see people’s reactions watching alligator wrestling or marvel at our clothing and crafts is what Brighton Field Days is all about, showing and sharing our culture with others. The parade was especially fun too! I loved seeing the girls on horseback in their bright Indian dresses and shirts.
As soon as I was done waving my princess wave and saying my goodbyes, I was off to Arizona for UNITY’s midyear conference held in Scottsdale. Being surrounded by over 400 Native youth and watching them create “rezolutions” to issues on their own reservations, sharing cultural traditions with one another, and dancing hand in hand was amazing to be a part of. I even had the honor of mediating a panel on the final day, Women in Leadership. It makes me excited for the National UNITY Conference we are in the midst of planning that will be held in Orlando this coming July.
I love representing our tribe and I love being your Miss Florida Seminole. Shonaabesha!