Hall, ID Miss Indian World 2014-2015 Taylor Thomas, was given
a royal homecoming on Thursday, May 1.
A video of the crowning opened the event and was viewed before a
room full of community members from Fort Hall and surrounding areas.
As the clip announced Thomas the winner, the crowd within the Shoshone-Bannock
Hotel and Event Center erupted in cheer; reenacting the enthusiasm
that echoed within The Pit on April 26.
Thomas and her escort James Tone entered the room as Spring
Creek Singers offered an honor song.
Fort Hall Business Council (FHBC) Chairman Nathan Small welcomed
Its a proud moment for us, for our people and for
He acknowledged Thomas as his niece and was amazed she was now
Miss Indian World.
I feel like she will do a good job for us, representing
our people, especially the Indian women and have a real good influence
on our young Indian girls that are growing up, said Small.
FHBC Secretary Lee Juan Tyler dedicated a song he composed for
Thomas recognizing how she made the community proud and wishing
her well on her travels.
Council member Darrell Dixey commended Thomas for doing a great
Sergeant-at-Arms Devon Boyer recognized Thomas and all the other
young women and their families who represented the community.
said, Taylor, its been a long journey and I know that
we spoke here and there, off and on, about different things and
my main word is, Hang in there, things will happen,
and you know what? They do. Things really do happen in a good way
and a good manner. Were making history. Not only for Shoshone-Bannock
Tribes but all the tribes in this country as well as this world.
Miss Indian Nations, Alexandria Alvarez, expressed her praise
She is the embodiment of who we want our Miss Indian Word
to be; to be friendly and be wonderful to all the girls. To be a
role model and a leader.
Thomas shared a PowerPoint that documented some of the moments
she experienced as Miss Shoshone-Bannock. Photos showed her in Washington
D.C. with the FHBC, representing at the Eastern Idaho State Fair,
pictured with other royalty, attending local traditional cooking
classes and moments during the Miss Indian World pageant.
Thomas explained Miss Indian Worlds role as an ambassador
for all indigenous people.
The embodiment of a traditional and cultural woman, she
is somebody who brings awareness to who she is and who all indigenous
people are around the world would like people to know who
they are and to tap a little more into their culture. Being
crowned Miss Indian World is something Thomas never pictured herself
doing, even a year ago. She described running for Miss Indian World
as a whirlwind and exciting.
However, Thomas was nurtured to take on leadership positions
since the age of 11. She always considered herself an athlete and
was encouraged and supported by her family, especially her mom,
Her first leadership position she traveled to Australia and
New Zealand to play basketball overseas as a People to People Sports
Ambassador. It was her first chance to not only represent herself
and the Tribes, but to represent the United States. Ever since then
she has had the sense of adventure to see the world.
While attending high school she was actively involved in basketball
and softball. She attended boarding school in Oklahoma ran by the
Cherokee Nation. Her fellow students were passionate about the betterment
of Indian Country and inspired her. She graduated in 2010 from Pocatello
High School and was an NDN Scholar as a senior.
She went to college at Idaho State University and was invited
to attend the National Congress of American Indians Conference in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. She applied for a NCAI youth position and
served for two years. Her leadership experience there prepared her
to run for Miss Sho-Ban.
As Miss Sho-Ban, she felt like she took off running and was
keeping busy trying new things and going to new places. It was important
to her to visit communities who supported the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
She was nervous to run for Miss Indian World, but many signs
along the way encouraged her. Thomass main goal at the Miss
Indian World pageant was to only win best personal interview. She
accomplished that goal along with gaining the title.
The former Miss Indian World told Thomas the crown goes where
its needed most. She was very happy to bring it home. A video
of her talent, presenting the Shoshone-Bannock Traditional 49,
was shown to the audience. Thomas expressed her gratitude to her
family for helping her orchestrate it.
Thomas explained her platform as Miss Indian World was to promote
Native pride amongst Native women and girls and encourage them to
take on leadership roles.
Thomas was given several gifts for her accomplishment, including
a luggage set, flowers, coin purse, Pendleton, gift basket, photo
cake, Cedar Spa package, framed picture, wing dress and beaded scarf.
Thomas was congratulated afterwards by the community and took
time shaking their hands and posing for pictures.