Siyo, on Oct. 3, I was crowned Miss Cherokee 2017-2018.
First, I would like to tell you more about myself. I am currently a 19-year-old sophomore in college. I attend Carson-Newman University where I am studying business administration with an emphasis in management. My parents are Sheila Cole-Conner of the Towstring community and Ronnie Long of the Big-Y community. I have two siblings, a twin brother named Jacob Long and a little sister named Hope Long. I am also a proud dog mom to a sweet husky named Aquilla Long. My family has been a huge support system for me since I began the journey of running for Miss Cherokee, and I cannot thank them enough.
I am so excited to serve my community as a goodwill ambassador and cannot wait to travel with my fellow royalty so that we may represent the EBCI community in a positive manner.
I would like to give all the glory to God for letting me embark on this journey and I hope and pray that I will honor Him and my tribe in a positive way.
I would like to thank my sponsors: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, for my beautiful traditional wear and teaching me more about my heritage and culture; Sequoyah Fund, for their generous sponsorship which helped provide my clothing and candy for the parade and pageant; the Towstring community for supporting me and for their donation of time and money which went to help provide t-shirts for my walkers in the parade and my formal wear and other jewelry; Anita Lossiah for her sponsorship and time which helped provide candy for the parade; Yellow Rose Realty for the sponsorship which went to candy for the parade; and the Cherokee Youth Council, especially Johnathan and Katie Hill for walking and throwing candy in the parade.
Thank you to Eddie Cole for cleaning and driving my jeep and I in the parade. Thank you to Renee Long-Cole and Samantha Cole for buying, walking, and throwing candy in the parade.
I would also like to thank Johnnie and Nancy Maney for my beautiful wool outfit and other regalia. Thank you to Richard Saunooke for my beautiful moccasins.
Thank you to Tooter Owens, Day Cucumber, and Michael Thompson for practicing with me daily on my talent and speeches.
I would also like to thank Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed for the silver broach and earrings given to me as I was crowned. Thank you to the Pageant Board for giving me this opportunity to wear the beautiful crown and represent my Tribe. I hope to make my Cherokee people proud.
Thank you to my family: My mom and dad especially. You are my biggest supporters and fans. Thank you so much. I love each and every one of you dearly.
Miss Cherokee 2017-18