The American Indian Center for Excellence (AICE) and the Native American Student Association (NASA) at NEO hosted a day of activities to continue celebrating Native Heritage Month, including the Miss Indian NEO pageant. NEO named Allison Reyes (descendant of the Osage Nation and Prairie Band Pottawatomie Nation) from Pawhuska, Okla. as the 2015 Miss Indian NEO during the annual pageant. The competition, in its fourth year since its re-introduction to campus, was open to female NEO students who met GPA requirements. Candidates were scored based on essays, reference letters, and their pageant performance.
First runner-up was Aubreyanna Blalock (Peoria) from Miami, Okla. and second runner-up was Kelsi Foust (Cherokee), also from Miami. “I will dedicate my time and summer to representing as Miss Indian NEO with the utmost pride and respect,” said Reyes during her platform speech. “As Miss Indian NEO, I will promote the importance of education, culture, and leadership. I would like to see more Native American girls voice their opinions and become involved in their heritage, education, and tribal government. I want today’s youth to learn their language and traditions so they can pass them down for many generations.”
Caleb Cox emceed the pageant and Reyes was crowned by Miss Indian NEO 2014 Dava Daylight. Anna McKibben (former Miss Indian USA), JulieAnna Rhode, and Dr. Linda Sue Warner served as judges for the competition. The event also featured the flute music of Talon Silverhorn.