Ada — “We are also challenged to preserve our language. More fluent speakers are needed and I know we, the young people, are important to nurturing and strengthening our language.
“As a child, I remember visiting my Memaw. She and my uncle would be at the kitchen table speaking our language but would grow silent or begin speaking English when company arrived. My parents and I have set a goal to become fluent speakers believing that, one day, there will be no silence and my children and their child will join in the conversation. Though a great endeavor, my parents have taught me we are never alone when taking on the challenges of life,” she said.
“There is so much to learn from our elders and I am thankful for what’s been passed on to me. We must all cherish these moments keeping them fresh and alive.
“Being Miss Chickasaw will open doors of opportunity to share with our young ones, as well as the world outside our Oklahoma boundaries,” she added.
Faithlyn Taloa Seawright was selected Chickasaw Junior Princess.
Ms. Seawright is the 15-year-old daughter of Larry Seawright and Gwendolyn Burris. She is a sophomore at Latta High School, Ada, Okla.
“I am 15 years old and an honor student at Latta High School where I am an FCCLA member, a student of the Gifted and Talented program and a member of Governor’s Honor Club. I am involved in many activities: Chickasaw Choir, Chikasha Apihchi Ikbi (Creating Chickasaw Leaders), Chickasaw School of Guitar, Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy, Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women, All Nation Pow-Wow committee, a summer youth worker at Arts and Humanities and a member of Round Lake Indian Church. I’ve been a student in the Chickasaw language program and will continue my studies when the new season begins this fall,” she said in her contestant profile.