JAY, OK — Courtney Teehee of Jay will be among seven competing in the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition on Saturday, August 23, at 7 p.m., at Cornerstone Church, in Tahlequah. The competition will be held in conjunction with the 56th Annual Cherokee National Holiday.     

 “We are excited to have each of these young women take part in our competition,” said Nancy Scott, event coordinator. “We have some very accomplished participants this year and I am proud to have each of them take part in the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition. This is a great experience for young Cherokee women.”

 The purpose of the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition is to identify young women with leadership abilities to represent the Cherokee Nation, its citizens and communities. The chosen candidate will serve as a goodwill ambassador and messenger to promote the government, history, language and culture of the Cherokee people.

 Miss Cherokee Leadership participants will be judged in several categories, including an interview, platform presentation, social skills, tribal knowledge and their usage of the Cherokee language. The winner of the competition will receive a $3,000 dollar scholarship, the first-runner up will be awarded a scholarship totaling $2,000 dollars and the third-runner up will win a $1,000 dollar scholarship.

 This year competing in the event is local contestant, Courtney Teehee. Six other young women representing several communities in the tribe’s jurisdictional area will also compete and include Danielle Culp of Claremore, Alyssa Allen Fields of Locust Grove, Kinsey Shade of Briggs, Feather Smith of Tahlequah, Jana Henry of Salina and Charbrice Rhea of Westville.

Courtney is the daughter of Tom and Juanita Teehee of Jay. Courtney is attending Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and has served her community by taking part in community and church events. She enjoys helping others in the community because she feels it will help to make her community strong. Courtney participates in traditional games such as stickball and marbles, and likes demonstrating basket weaving, storytelling and traditional foods. She has excelled in art competitions, taken part in youth leadership trips to North Carolina and is a former member of the Cherokee Nation Youth Council.

 “I encourage everyone to come out and support these young women,” said Scott. “I would also like to invite the public to attend a reception with the contestants from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., in the ballroom of Northeastern State University. It will be a great opportunity to meet each of the contestants and fellowship with old friends.”

 The Cherokee National Holiday has been held since 1953 in tribute to the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution. It has grown into one of the largest events in Oklahoma, attracting more than 90,000 visitors from across the world.

   Each year a theme is chosen for the Cherokee National Holiday that celebrates Cherokee Nation’s rich heritage and culture.  The 2008 theme is “di ni yo tli   u na li s de lv do di, Planting the Seed Corn for our Children’s Future.”

  “In this theme, we honor all the Cherokee parents and grandparents whose everyday actions are dedicated to establishing strong, self-sufficient children and communities. Cherokee community members have great respect for these individuals who care and plan for the Cherokee Nation’s leaders of tomorrow,” said Smith.

       For more information about the event, contact (918) 453-5259.