“On the evening of Saturday, April 27, 2019, before a sold-out crowd of 10,000+ attendees, including a record 3,600+ registered dancers, Cheyenne Kippenberger, 23, was crowned the 36th Miss Indian World.” – Gathering of Nations
A member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Cheyenne Kippenberger was one of 17 contestants competing for the prestigious title. She impressed the judge’s panel throughout the four-day competition, and as a result she is the first Seminole woman to hold the prestigious title of Miss Indian World in the program’s 36-year history.
Kippenberger’s family is of the Panther Clan and her Indian name “Eete” was bestowed upon her by her Grandma Lawanna. The former Miss Florida Seminole currently resides in Hollywood, Florida, and is constantly looking for ways to support her community as well as sustain Seminole culture. Kippenberger is also the Chairwoman of Healing the Circle in Our Tribal Communities Symposium of the Native Learning Center organization. She maintains balance by staying mentally and physically healthy through yoga practice, running and reading; and whenever possible she sews traditional patchwork and participates in language classes with an elder from her reservation.
Kippenberger earned an Associate Degree in Accounting from Keiser University and plans to continue her education by pursuing an additional degree in Political Science. She draws inspiration from Congresswomen Sharice Davids and Deb Halaand.
As the 2019-2020 Miss Indian World, Kippenberger’s goals are to bring awareness to the strength and resilience of Native American and Indigenous peoples, help to destigmatize mental health and put forth efforts in gaining quality representation in the media for Indigenous people globally.
The Miss Indian World Pageant – Over Three Decades of Excellence
The Miss Indian World Pageant takes place annually in April at the world’s largest Native American powwow, Gathering of Nations, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The very first Miss Indian World Pageant was held in 1984, and since its inception, young Native American women ages 18-25 travel from all across North America to represent their tribes and compete for the esteemed title of Miss Indian World.
The Miss Indian World program is much more than a competition. Throughout the exciting five-day experience contestants share a journey of sisterhood as they represent their family, communities and tribes, and form lasting friendships. Through this process they achieve many personal triumphs and create lifelong memories. This program is about Native American culture and positive imaging for the young ladies who compete for the title.
The Miss Indian World Pageant has a reputation for crowning winners who display a profound knowledge of her tribe’s traditions, history, ancestors and culture.
Throughout the four-day competition, contestants accumulate points based on strong showings in the areas of public speaking, traditional talent, personal interview, essay writing and dance.
Qualifying contestants must be of native or Indigenous American descent, single, with no kids and have never been married. In addition to the title, contestants are able to win individual awards based on their scores. To ensure a fair evaluation, there are five different judges for each category.
All contestants also participate in a beautiful theatre production featuring the MIW contestants’ Traditional Talent Presentations, which is held on Thursday before the Gathering of Nations Powwow.
The competitions culminate in the crowning of the new Miss Indian World in front of a sold out audience on Saturday night at the Gathering of Nations Powwow.
The following women were also recognized during the crowning ceremony.
l 1st Runner Up – Cordelia Falls Down, Crow and United Keetowah Band Tribes, Crow Agency, Montana
l 2nd Runner Up – Shelby Mata, Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, Walters, Oklahoma
l Public Speaking Award – Cordelia Falls Down, Crow and United Keetowah Band Tribes, Crow Agency, Montana
l Best Interview Award – Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hollywood, Florida
l Traditional Talent Award – Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hollywood, Florida
l Best Dancer Award – Aysha Catron Tsosie, Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona
l Best Essay Award – Cordelia Falls Down, Crow and United Keetowah Band Tribes, Crow Agency, Montana
l Miss Congeniality – Kyleigh Farmer, Mohawk Iroquois of the Six Nations Reserve, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada
“The title of Miss Indian World is iconic and shall always be distinctly a part of the Gathering of Nations, Ltd. We are proud of all 17 contestants and look forward to working with Cheyenne Kippenberger this year as she travels Indian Country representing all Native women and the Gathering of Nations organization.” – The Gathering of Nations Directors