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Women's Circle hosting princess contest; deadline to apply for Miss Three Fires is Aug. 7

Observer Staff

1/25/2005 12:00:00 AM

The Naanooshke Women's Circle will host the Miss Saginaw Ojibwe and Miss Three Fires Princess contests in conjunction with the 20th Annual Little Elks Retreat Powwow Aug. 6-8.

All contests are open to Tribal youth-Miss Saginaw Ojibwe ages 12- 21 and Miss Three Fires from ages 12-21-allowing the girls to respectively represent their Tribes.

"One of our nicest traditional ceremonies is to honor our daughters with feasts and giveaways when they cross the threshold from childhood into womanhood. In these princess contests, young ladies are crossing into womanhood and we hope to honor them in much the same way," said Julie D'Artagnan, member of the Women's Circle. "The Women's Circle also provides the opportunity for Native girls to take a leadership role in the community by practicing leadership skills of speaking and presenting herself well."

Applicants must be a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan to apply for the Miss Saginaw Ojibwe contest or belong to any of the Three Fire Tribes- Ojibwe/Chippewa, Potawatomi or Ottawa-to enter the Miss Three Fires. Saginaw Chippewa descendants are eligible to enter Miss Three Fires contest.

The application deadline for Miss Three Fires is Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. Those interested must fill out an official entry application, contestant agreement and provide certification of her Tribal membership or that of her parent. Applications for the Miss Saginaw Ojibwe contest are being accepted until the deadline of Aug. 3.

All girls must be single, never married and have no dependents. They must conduct themselves in a respectable manner. The following behavior will not be tolerated: the display of affection in public, the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking and profane language.

The applicants are given the opportunity to display their talent through public speaking, essays, regalia, dance competition and private interviews.

During the powwow the public speaking and regalia portion of the contest, along with the dance competition will take place on the powwow grounds. The girls will be introducing them-selves at the microphone and will be awarded points based on their public speaking.

Private inter-views for Miss Three Fires con-testants are also slated to take place on the powwow grounds before Grand Entry on Aug. 7.

Although Miss Three Fires contestants will not be interviewed at the Women's Circle, they are welcomed and encouraged to attend. During the gathering there will be a Talking Circle where the girls will be able to speak about themselves and issues they are interested in. This will give the judges the opportunity to meet and visit with the contestants.

Miss Saginaw Ojibwe must: attend four or more powwows in the state, write quarterly articles for the Tribal Observer, attend four or more community functions, attend Women's Circle meetings bimonthly to provide updates, provide a report card to Women's Circle, serve as a judge for next year's Miss Three Fires contest and make a shawl for the next Miss Saginaw Ojibwe.

Miss Three Fires must: attend four or more powwows in the state, write quarterly articles for their community paper/newsletter, attend two or more Saginaw Chippewa community functions, attend two or more functions in their own community, provide a report card to Women's Circle, serve as a judge for next year's Miss Saginaw Ojibwe contest, and make a shawl for the next Miss Three Fires.

"The winning contestant of the Miss Saginaw Ojibwe title should attend community gathering and celebrations as well as powwows regularly," stated Anita Heard, a Women's Circle participant. "It is important that the princess is representing the Tribe through cultural events." For more information, contact Mary Lynn at (989) 775-4470, Julie D'Artagnan at (989) 775-5259, Kelly David at (989) 775-1912 or Renee Dillard at (989) 775-4470.