Earlier this month, Danielle Finn, 2014 Champion for Change, was crowned Miss Indian World at The Gathering of Nations. CNAY recognized Danielle in 2014 for her work as a positive role model who drove three hours twice a week to teach Head Start students, volunteer as an after school tutor, and serve as a dance teacher in her spare time. She also mentored children within her community, helped address teen pregnancy, and tackled alcohol and substance abuse issues among Native Youth through her participation on the Mid Dakota Teen Clinic Advisory Board.
Much more than a competition, the 5-day experience for participating Miss Indian World contestants is an exciting journey of “sisterhood” as these young women represent their tribes & communities, form lifelong friendships and memories, and participate in a full stage production of traditional talent presentations — all culminating in the crowning of the new Miss Indian World in front of sold out audience. In addition to demonstrating a traditional talent, contestants compete in the areas of public speaking, a personal interview, dance, and an essay. The newly crowned Miss Indian World spends the year traveling extensively throughout the USA, Canada and internationally.
CNAY spoke with Danielle shortly after she was crowned as Miss Indian World. Here’s what she had to say about her latest accomplishment:
“I am so happy that the title of Miss Indian World has come to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe! I ran for my people and so I believe that this title is for them. I know that being Miss Indian World is both an honor and a huge responsibility, but I am ready and so excited to represent all of Indian Country!”
Danielle’s advice for young ladies who hope to wear the crown one day is to “start living a life that would make your ancestors proud and to be yourself.” She encourages young women to run for Miss Indian World at least once, and reminds us that she didn’t win the title on her first try. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again!” she says. “There are many things in my life that I have had to do more than once in order to get something accomplished.”
Danielle will address three platforms as Miss Indian World: suicide prevention, higher education, and language revitalization. To learn more about Danielle and the Miss Indian World pageant, click here.