Hook earns second runner-up and Entrepreneur Award at Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant
November 21, 2019
Chickasaw Princess 2018-2019 Mikayla Hook was named second runner-up for Miss Indian Oklahoma in the Miss Indian Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant Friday, Nov. 1, at the McSwain Theatre.
Hook was also honored with the Entrepreneur Award.
"I loved every bit of it. It was pretty exciting for me," Hook said. "It was one day of rehearsals and competition. I will say it's a shame we only had one day to get to know each other as contestants."
Hook's maternal grandmother, Ruth Shelley, accompanied her during the onstage tribal greeting.
"Chokma! Chinchokma? Saholhchifoat Mikayla Hook, aamintili Tishomingo. Chikashsha saya," Hook said greeting the crowd. "I would like to say a big chokma'shki to my full-blood Chikasha appo'si' Ruth Shelley for escorting me tonight. Chiholloli."
She then shared the background and inspiration of her Chickasaw regalia. She mentioned the European influence on the prairie dress, a result of trade and resourcefulness. She pointed out the ribbons flowing from various points of her regalia, then moved on to describe her beaded collar necklace. A particular accessory had a more familial inspiration.
"The last adornment I added was my mother's beautiful, beaded, tanned deerskin purse which she received when she was Chickasaw Princess," Hook explained. "I wanted to wear it tonight to honor her because I am the woman I am because of the woman she is."
As part of the competition, Hook performed a monologue from the Chickasaw Nation Productions film "Te Ata."
During her platform presentation, Hook addressed the need for better oral and dental hygiene in the Native population – a topic she is well prepared to discuss due to her studies and work as a dental hygienist. She brought up the links between poor dental hygiene and medical conditions, such as Alzheimer's and heart disease. She recommended targeting youth with information and reinforcement so dental visits are less frightening.
By pulling a random piece of paper out of a hat, Hook was tasked with giving an impromptu response to the question: "If you could design a college curriculum, what would it be and why?"
Hook said she would design curriculum regarding the Chickasaw language, mentioning how she would have preferred to study her language in school and would like to extend that option to others as well. She asserted, as a result of being offered more Chickasaw language opportunities, interest and participation in learning the language would increase.
Hook said she plans to compete in future pageants and help other Native girls interested in pageantry.
"I will keep trying until my time has come to hang up my pageant moccasins or whenever God leads me to other things," Hook said. "Part of me running for Miss Indian Oklahoma this year was I felt called to it by God. And if we have any wonderful Chickasaw young ladies interested in running for Miss or Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, I would love to help, give them a heads up on what to expect and how to prepare," Hook said.
"This opportunity was very unique and different, but that is a big part of life – to try out new things," she said.
Hook, a student at East Central University in Ada, is the daughter of Michael Hook and Deborah Hook. In 2018, she graduated cum laude from Tishomingo's Murray State College, serving as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She is studying dental assisting at the Pontotoc Technology Center and plans to earn a degree in dental hygiene.
During her one-year reign as Chickasaw Princess, Hook took courses on language, culture and history of the Chickasaw people. In addition to serving as a young ambassador of the Chickasaw Nation, the 2018-2019 princess saw many places, served as a role model and represented the Chickasaw people nationally in many formal functions.
Chickasaw citizen Nicole Schultz, acting president of the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women, introduced the evening's events. Star Yellowfish of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma served as mistress of ceremonies.
Seven other contestants competed, all vying for either the Miss or Jr. Miss Indian Oklahoma title.
Akiane Bates represented the Absentee Shawnee Tribe; Kylee Ragland represented the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Mahiya Serna Ramirez represented the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Nina Fox represented the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Breana Hill represented the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Charlie De'Na McAdams represented the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and Jessica New Moon represented the Ponca Tribe.
Bates was crowned 2019-2020 Jr. Miss Indian Oklahoma and Hill was crowned 2019-2020 Miss Indian Oklahoma.
Contestants were judged on their written essays, interviews; onstage-tribal greetings, traditional talents or presentations, platform presentations and impromptu questions.
Judges for the event included Susan Whitehorse Johnson, Michael Shackleford and Daniel Sherran.
The Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women (OFIW) – which can be found online at OFIW.org – organized the event. The organization aimed to support young Native women and spotlight them as young ladies who value their Native heritage.