Friday, September 25, 2020

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Letter to the Editor: Inspired by young women at Snow Queen pageant

Inspired by young women at Snow Queen pageant

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article about Lakota maidens represent at State Snow Queen Contest. I had the privilege of meeting each of these young ladies while on the team charged with selecting the Snow Queen and Princesses.

To a person, each woman provided very personal stories about how being a part of the Lakota community has affected them. Each had examples of the community coming together to support other community members. Your article illustrates that support. The women taught us about their lives, their concerns. They grew in the few days we had together.

I have been an ambassador for the Minneapolis Aquatennial, which similarly draws young women from across the state who hope to be named Queen of the Lakes. These programs provide interview, speaking and networking opportunities that are not always available in small towns. Each of the 30 young women representing communities on the Snow Queen stage last Saturday evening were grace under pressure as they spoke to a sold out auditorium to introduce themselves and answer a question on the fly.

The festivals do their jobs well when, like your four Lakota women, participants look back and see their growth in confidence and speaking skills. Thank you to the women who choose to put themselves into the public eye and the communities and families who give them strength. I am a better person because I met them.

Ann Bailey

2019 Commodore, Minneapolis Aquatennial

Four young women, KiTu LeBeau, TyRel Thompson, Tiana Kohlus, and Alscessa Elsey, who all have ties to Cheyenne River, competed at this year’s South Dakota Snow Queen Festival. Kohlus was crowned Autumn Princess.

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