TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Meekah Roy, a Northeastern State University senior from Salina, is the 2019-20 Miss Cherokee.
Roy, 22, was crowned Saturday during the annual leadership competition at Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Tahlequah.
As Miss Cherokee, Roy will represent the Cherokee Nation as a goodwill ambassador to promote the government, history, language and culture of the tribe for the next year. She also receives a $6,000 scholarship, an increase of the previous $3,000 scholarship given to winners of the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition.
“I was ecstatic,” said Roy. “I was just celebrating inside, because this is my third time running. I am so happy to be able to represent the Cherokee Nation as Miss Cherokee.”
Roy is the daughter of Sandra Hair and George Roy. She enjoys storytelling and cooking traditional foods. She is majoring in health care administration and hopes to one day work for the Cherokee Nation.
Roy competed against three other young women for the Miss Cherokee crown. The Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition judges contestants on their use of the Cherokee language, cultural and platform presentations, and responses to impromptu questions.
“People of all ages are going to look up to our new Miss Cherokee. They will see her as an ambassador and will want to represent their Nation and have the kind of passion for Cherokee issues that she does,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “As an ambassador for the Cherokee Nation, Meekah is an inspiration to us all. She is committed to sharing our culture and traditions with the world. It is my great pleasure to be able to work with her in the coming year.”
For her cultural presentation during the competition, Roy presented the story of the origin of disease and medicine, and discussed various plants and their uses in Cherokee culture. Her platform as Miss Cherokee is the preservation of Cherokee language and revitalization within the Nation.
“I look forward to meeting new people and travelling to new places to see how our culture has made an impact around the country,” said Roy. During Saturday’s competition, Chief Hoskin announced an increase in the scholarship amounts awarded not only to Miss Cherokee, but also to the first and second runners-up.
Miss Cherokee first runner-up was Elizabeth Hummingbird, 21, of Stilwell, who earned a $3,000 scholarship. The second runner-up was Amari McCoy, 22, of Sallisaw, who earned a $2,000 scholarship. The third runner-up was Sydneigh Fourkiller, 18, of Stilwell, who earned a $500 scholarship.