Another Gathering of Nations has come and gone.  The annual New Mexico event is one of the largest indigenous cultural gatherings in North America.  It’s a who’s who of pow-wow singing groups, champion dancers, head staff and unforgettable pageantry.

The most prestigious contest at GON bestows a crown that isn’t only the Princess of the gathering, but the reigning crown of Miss Indian World. Yes, of the entire world.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see one of our young women as Miss Indian World?

I’m a big supporter of seeing our own young people from Anishinaabe territory to take part in these types of events.  It brings a lot of pride to our people and our local First Nations.  It also instills confidence, self-esteem and fosters amazing opportunities for the young women who take part as contestants.

One such young woman, Erin McLeod, has been a perennial contestant in pageants across Northern Ontario.  This year, Erin was a contestant in Miss West Nipissing.  She is now representing our community as Miss Nipissing First Nation in the Miss North Ontario competition taking place in Sudbury this week on May 3 and 4.

Erin is supported by her mother Jody McLeod, her family and essentially, her entire community.  We’re all very proud of her and want her to do very well.

Perhaps with the right amount of support, we might someday see Miss Nipissing First Nation, Erin McLeod travelling down to Albuquerque, New Mexico as a contestant in the world’s most spectacular indigenous pageant, Miss Indian World.

Think big, Erin.  Do big things.  Good luck.

Please support Miss Erin McLeod, Miss Nipissing First Nation by voting for her at the Miss North Ontario website.

Also, please show your support by joining Erin’s Facebook group.

This year’s Miss Indian World is a lovely young Navajo woman, Kansas K. Begaye.