Pinkerton named 2018-19 Junior Miss Cherokee
2018-19 Junior Miss Cherokee Kaitlyn Pinkerton stands in between Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, left, and Principal Chief Bill John Baker after winning the crown on Aug. 18. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Kaitlyn Pinkerton, 15, of Claremore, was crowned the 2018-19 Junior Miss Cherokee after competing at the 27th annual Junior Miss Cherokee Competition on Aug. 18.
Kaitlyn is the daughter of Amy Pinkerton and is a member of the Cherokee National Youth Choir.
“It feels so surreal to earn this title,” Kaitlyn said. “My favorite part of the competition is always making new friends, and I think that is what I am most looking forward to about serving as Junior Miss Cherokee as well. I love to meet new people, and that will definitely be a great part of this experience.”
During the competition, contestants are judged on their use of Cherokee language, a cultural presentation and a speech on their platform, as well as their response to an impromptu question.
One of four contestants, she received high marks for her language skills, as well as her rendition of the song “North Wind” performed in Cherokee. Her platform speech focused on the importance of mental health awareness, a topic that she has shared all over the United States.
“My platform is about mental health awareness and how important it is to address the stigma that surrounds it,” she said.
While representing the tribe as Junior Miss Cherokee, the sophomore at Claremore High School will serve as a goodwill ambassador to promote the CN and share the culture and history of the tribe.
“All of our Cherokee ambassadors set an important example for our tribe, and earning the title of Junior Miss Cherokee is something to be very proud of,” Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “We are very proud to have a young lady with such grace and heart for people to serve in this position over the next year. (Principal) Chief (Bill John) Baker, I and the rest of our administration look forward to serving alongside her in the coming months.”
Along with her new title, Kaitlyn has plans to continue her work with mental health awareness, including organizing a school club called youth MOVE.