By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Miss Cherokee 2013 Madison Crowe has had a full year for sure. The Mars Hill University senior, who has a double major in art therapy and art education, has juggled her duties as ambassador for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with her responsibilities at school, and she somehow found the time to open a business, Two Crowe’s Ice Cream Parlor, with her brother, Tagan.
“I know that I have served as people’s first impression of Cherokee, and I am honored to have had that privilege.”
One thing she said she has been able to take away from the experience is a sense of togetherness. “I think it is amazing that, in today’s world, that Native Americans have come together and made a force to be reckoned with…we are standing together as Indigenous people. We are united.”
Crowe has represented the Tribe at numerous events this past year including: 39th Annual Eastern Band Cherokee Pow Wow, Choctaw Indian Fair, EBCI Cooperative Extension’s 100 year celebration, USET meeting in Cherokee, Relay for Life in Cherokee, Cherokee Days at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, Cherokee Day of Caring, Cherokee Choices Mother’s Day 5K, Cherokee Youth Pow Wow, Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, Ned Long Day Celebration, Junaluska Wreath Laying Ceremony in Robbinsville, Veteran’s Day Celebration in Cherokee, Cherokee Indian Fair, numerous parades, and many more events.
Attending the Choctaw Fair was one of her fondest memories, and she praised the Mississppi Band of Cherokee Indians for their hospitality. “They took me in like I was one of their own. I had a traditional meal at a house of people that we didn’t know, but they invited us to come and eat with them…they were all really welcoming.”
In her time as Miss Cherokee, Crowe has made it her purpose to educate as many as she can about the Tribe and American Indian people in general. “I got to talk about what it means to be a matrilineal society.”
She has been proud to be able to share the Cherokee language with others. “After I speak, people come up and say, ‘that was beautiful, your language is beautiful.’”
During her reign, Crowe has had the opportunity to meet many interesting people including lots of dignitaries and leaders from throughout Indian Country. At last October’s annual USET meeting, held in Cherokee, she was excited to have met NCAI president Brian Cladoosby as well as Oneida Nation Rep. Ray Halbritter.
“At USET, I spoke on how what you do today affects seven generations behind you, and you should always keep that in mind…the USET president and vice president actually used my quote about the seven generations in their speeches, and I thought that was awesome.”
Crowe will crown Miss Cherokee 2014 during the upcoming pageant on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 6pm in the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center. When asked what advice she would give to the next Miss Cherokee, she related, “Take in every moment and absorb the information that you hear.”
She added, “Don’t think that just because you have a crown on your head that you lose your voice as a person and a Native American. Don’t let the crown hold you back from anything that you believe in. Stay strong.”