Fundraising for royalty duties for a year-long reign can be challenging at times. Jasmine LeBeau and her cousin, Morgan Brings Plenty, have recently met criticism and negative comments during their fundraising efforts for LeBeau’s daughter, Mya LeBeau.
Mya was crowned last month as the Mini Miss Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe during the CRST annual fair.
According to J. LeBeau, only Miss Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe receives a funded budget during her one-year reign. The rest of the CRST royalty title holders, which are Junior Miss CRST, Lil Miss CRST, and Mini Miss CRST, are responsible for any debt incurred during her reign.
When J. LeBeau asked the tribal Fair and Rodeo Committee why the latter royalty do not receive direct funding for royalty duties, she was told, “That’s just how it’s been.”
J. LeBeau says she was then instructed to put in an application with the tribe’s ABC Committee, which is responsible for distributing money to tribal youth and youth activities.
“I did put in an application last week, and since then I’ve been calling the office to see if Mya was funded, but there has been no answer or return call,” she said.
Attending the Black Hills Powwow in Rapid City is a requirement for Mini Miss CRST.
“If it is a requirement, then why doesn’t the Fair and Rodeo Committee provide any gas money or lodging?” J. LeBeau asked..
“It may not seem like a lot, but the powwow is three days long. That is three days’ worth of food, lodging, admission fees. Travel costs add up for just one event. Imagine other events that Mya is planning to go to throughout the year,” said J. LeBeau.
Not only was Mya present all three days of the Black Hills Powwow, she participated in every grand entry and proudly represented the Mni Wiconi movement.
J. LeBeau says Mya plans on attending more powwows, Native American events, and the Climate March in Washington, DC this coming spring.
J. LeBeau has been actively fundraising, holding bake sales, Indian taco sales, and raffles.
A popular raffle is a “50/50 drawing”, where the grand prize is 50% of the money raised from raffle ticket sales.
“Some people don’t understand that we are proud of Mya, and she is so happy to be Mini Miss CRST. But we also need to fundraise. Hearing negative words, especially from tribal employees, does make fundraising challenging,” said J. LeBeau.
“l don’t like going to the tribe asking for assistance, because I know that there are people who need help more than we do,” said J. LeBeau.
J. LeBeau is currently selling 50/50 raffle tickets and plans to announce the winner this Friday, October 13. You may contact her through her Facebook page, Jasmine Christine LeBeau, to donate to her fundraising efforts.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up for Mya, under the name “Mini Miss CRST”. Currently $100 has been donated to the account.
Mya’s Lakota name is Keya Tozi Win, Green Turtle Woman, and she is from the Oohenumpa band. She is 6 years old and is a first grader at the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Primary School. She enjoys jingle dress dancing, loves going to school, and has perfect attendance.