TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Chief Hoskin Jr. crowned a new Miss Cherokee Saturday (Aug. 28) at the Tribe's annual leadership competition in Tahlequah.
20-year-old Chelbie Turtle, of Park Hill, now holds the Miss Cherokee 2021-2022 crown and will be awarded a $6,000 scholarship.
The Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition judges contestants on their use of the Cherokee language, cultural and platform presentations, and responses to impromptu questions, according to the Cherokee Nation.
While fulfilling her role as Miss Cherokee, Chelbie will represent the Tribe as a goodwill ambassador with the goal of promoting Cherokee government, history, language and culture over for the next year.
“As an ambassador for the Cherokee Nation, people of all ages are going to look up to Chelbie as an inspiration,” said Chief Hoskin. “And it is truly inspirational how Chelbie has already expressed her commitment to sharing our Cherokee culture, traditions, history and even her knowledge of our Cherokee government with the world. I look forward to working with her and Junior Miss Cherokee Leah Gardner throughout the coming year.”
Chelbie said she has looked forward to having the chance to be Miss Cherokee for years and worked hard to get to where she is today.
“I'm super excited. This is something that I have looked forward to for many, many years,” Chelbie said. “I'm just super thankful to have been chosen to represent the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee people in this position. I’m beyond excited for the year to come. I look forward to seeing everything that we’ll do.”
For her cultural presentation during the competition, Chelbie presented the story of the Cherokee origin of strawberry and performed “Amazing Grace” in Cherokee. Her platform speech focused on the "Value of Knowing Your Nation.”
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. crowns new Miss Cherokee Chelbie Turtle following the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition held in Tahlequah Aug. 28:
Chelbie studies Political Science and Criminal Justice at Northeastern State University, is a member of the NSU Honors Program and the Native American Student Association, and is the vice-president of the Northeastern Student Government Association.
18-year-old Kaitlyn Pinkerton, of Claremore was the first runner-up and will receive a $3,000 scholarship. 22-year old Torey Snell, of Tahlequah, was the second-runner-up and will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
14-year-old Leah Gardner was crowned Junior Miss Cherokee 2021-2022.
Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, 2021-2022 Junior Miss Cherokee Leah Gardner, 2021-2022 Miss Cherokee Chelbie Turtle, Cherokee Nation Principal Chuck Hoskin Jr.: