Ambassadors of the people
By Edna Sailor
When Syanne Young Bird danced her way into the 2014 Little Shell Celebration, she did so as the Little Shell Celebration Traveling Princess.
She was selected for the honor by Lawrence Baker, President the Little Shell Celebration Committee. He said Syanne brings with her much teaching and preparation. Baker explained why that is an important characteristic for a princess.
"These young women are ambassadors in Indian country," Baker said. "They are the first Contact with other tribes to invite people to our celebration. They distribute our flyers and ensure that people know about our event. Young people are important. People listen to them. They remember them. There are other events going on around the country. The information has to be spread out over at least 25 other arenas. A lot of preparation goes into the process The young woman who wants this honor, must bring a number of qualities to the table. First and foremost she must be a dancer. She must be a good student. She must have respect for and know her traditions to be honored as royalty."
Princesses can be a variety of ages and be local or visiting from elsewhere. Two young visitors from Montana, sponsored by the University of Montana included Lorilei Hogan, Jr. Miss Princess from Montana State University. She dances both traditional and jingle.
"I like the jingle dancing better because it is faster," Hogan said.