OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed at the royalty signing, making Muscogee Nation Scholarship Pageant winners Miss Muscogee Nation Chenoa Barnett and Jr. Miss Georgia Harjo official ambassadors for the tribe on Wed. June 7 in the MCN Executive Building.
The contracts are signed by the princesses within a week after they win their respective titles. The contracts were made official with the signatures of Principal Chief David Hill and Second Chief Del Beaver. These contracts bind the girls to represent the nation with etiquette and poise during their reign in 2023-2024.
Barnett and Harjo competed in a series of pageant events where they were judged upon. Categories like a timed essay, introduction in the language, description of dress, traditional talent, and an impromptu questionnaire were added to determine the winners.
Barnett is taking on a back-to-back reign, as she was the Jr. Miss from the past year.
Last year her platform of “mental health issues in Native communities and youth” has helped her build her new platform, “culture is healing’.
Using cultural activities as a way to heal and become in touch with Mvskoke culture, Barnett has learned to cope when struggling.
Barnett claims that spending time at ceremonial grounds, hearing Mvskoke Hymns, practicing sewing traditional dresses, as well as learning and using the Mvskoke language have helped her improve her mental health.
“I want to show people how I helped heal myself when I was struggling and that was through culture,” Barnett said.
Barnett ran uncontested this year, but understands how Harjo is feeling about gaining her title as Jr. Miss. Barnett competed against four other young girls for the Jr. Miss title last year.
Harjo promotes “our culture knows no boundaries” because she lives beyond the reservation in Oklahoma City.
“We are Mvskoke no matter where we are,” Harjo said. “You can live anywhere and that doesn’t make you any less of a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.”
According to Royalty Coordinator LuAnn Bear, Harjo is the second princess chosen to live off the reservation following Brittany McKane in 2016-2017.
The first event the girls are expected to attend is Drillers Night on June 9.
For more information follow the Mvskoke Royalty Facebook Page.