Thornton wins Miss Indian Summer crown
Cherokee Nation citizen Julie Thornton was awarded the Miss Indian Summer title on Sept. 18 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, during the powwow held for the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival. COURTESY
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen Julie Thornton on Sept. 18 was crowned the title Miss Oklahoma Indian Summer 2015, in which she will serve as an ambassador for Oklahoma Indian Summer Inc. and Native people.
“I am the first woman to win the title of Miss Oklahoma Indian Summer. It is a great honor and opportunity to represent,” Thornton said.
The process to win this title included an application as well as participation in a competition against the other individuals seeking the title.
“I had to go through an application process. Once accepted I was notified and then waited to actually participate in the competition,” she said. “On Sept. 17, I was judged on an interview process and cultural presentation. My interview process was over an hour long and I answered questions on all three Cherokee tribes, cultural questions and I conversed in Cherokee.”
Thornton said during her conversation she spoke about different forms of Cherokee regalia, tribal history both pre- and post-Trail of Tears.
“I also was asked about my previous title holdings of Miss Cherokee and Junior Miss Cherokee, being a member of the award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir and being on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council,” she added. “Then I was to give my cultural presentation, the story of first fire.”
Thornton was crowned during the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival’s powwow.
“I would like to thank my family for being so supportive of me, the individuals who helped sew and make my regalia, the wonderful Oklahoma Indian Summer committee, Cherokee Nation for its support and most of all Unetlvnv (God) for always being in my corner in all my adventures throughout life,” she said.
According to its website, the Oklahoma Indian Summer welcomes each of the more than 28 federally recognized nations, tribes, bands and townships headquartered in Oklahoma. Since 1988, the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival has been sponsored by the Cherokee, Delaware and Osage tribes. The purpose of Oklahoma Indian Summer Inc. is to sponsor, coordinate and present traditional Native American cultural public events for the benefit of community education, cultural preservation and the development of positive multicultural community relations.