- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is competing against 23 other contestants for the Miss Indian World title.

Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, 25, will compete next week at the Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1rq67jB ) reported.

Finn first learned about the pageant from a billboard on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation that proudly displayed the words “Home of the first Miss Indian World.”

“I used to drive by that as a kid,” she said of the sign. “I always looked up to her. She made history.”

She competed for the Miss Indian World title in 2014 and was named second runner-up. She opted not to compete in 2015, but she decided to this year because her eligibility will soon expire.

This year, she will share the story and song of the penny dress, which Lakota women used to wear in the early 1900s to symbolize two worlds: Native and non-Native. She’s making her own dress adorned with 500 pennies. She said it’s “quite heavy.”

Finn will participate in a public speaking contest and a powwow dance, where she plans to perform a women’s northern traditional dance with a buckskin dress, as well as an interview in front of several judges, who will ask cultural questions.

Her platforms for the pageant are suicide prevention, higher education and language preservation. If she wins, she will promote her platforms at events throughout the country, as the first woman from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to earn the title.

Finn grew up in Bismarck and the Porcupine district on Standing Rock. She graduated from Century High School and currently studies federal Indian law and tribal law as a second-year student at Arizona State University.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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