By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Three young ladies will vie for the Miss Cherokee crown during the annual pageant scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 4 at 6pm at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center. Amorie Gunter, Angel Squirrel and Taylor Wilnoty will be judged in various categories including traditional dress, traditional talent, public speaking and more.
“We’re just pleased this year that we have three beautiful, talented young women in the pageant,” said Debbie West, pageant coordinator. “They’ve been a lot of fun to work with. We’d like to see the pageant continue to grow. Our Tribe has a lot of really beautiful women. We’re just really pleased with being able to work with these girls. They’re just really talented, and I can’t wait to see what they can do on stage.”
Amorie Gunter is the 19-year-old daughter of Angie and Frank Gunter from the Birdtown Community. A 2013 graduate of Swain County High School, she is currently studying to become an occupational therapy assistant at Southwestern Community College.
“I hope to improve Tsali Care and just help out our elders a lot,” said Amorie. “I have always wanted to help, and I’ve never really known how to help around the community. I just thought this would be a good opportunity to get out there more and have more opportunities to volunteer.”
Angel Squirrel is the 19-year-old daughter of Angela Squirrel from the Wolfetown Community. A 2013 graduate of Cherokee High School, she is currently a tour guide at the Oconaluftee Indian Village.
“I want to educate others about our language, who we are as a Tribe, our culture, and our history,” said Angel. “I hope to bring people to know who they are as a person and have them get more involved in their history and traditions, community, and eliminate some of the drug problem on the reservation with our young people and getting them more involved.”
Taylor Wilnoty is the 19-year-old daughter of Michael and Savannah Wilnoty from the Painttown Community. A 2013 graduate of Cherokee High School, she is currently studying nursing at Southwestern Community College.
“I’d like to be a role model for our younger girls, not just because I’m wearing a crown, but to teach them that Cherokee women have always been and always will be the backbone and strength of this Tribe,” said Taylor.