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(Many Paths)
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Chickasaw Nation crowns royalty
by Ada Evening News

Three new Chickasaw young ladies began their reign as 2008-09 Chickasaw royalty during the annual Chickasaw Princess Pageant, conducted at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center Monday, Sept. 29.

Carla Lane, Julie Underwood, and Chelsea Wedlow were crowned by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and Lt. Governor Jefferson Keel. The trio will serve as Chickasaw Princess, Chickasaw Junior Princess and Little Miss Chickasaw, respectively.

“We are proud of these extraordinary young ladies who will serve as ambassadors for the Chickasaw people during the upcoming year,” Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “They join a great history of dynamic Chickasaw women.”

During the pageant eight young ladies were judged on traditional Chickasaw dress, random questioning, talent and poise.

Contestants demonstrated a wide variety of talents ranging from stomp dancing, storytelling and signing.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges. Gov. Anoatubby awarded each princess winner with a crown, traditional dress, shawl, sash, trophy, gifts and cash prizes.

The new royalty will have the honor and privilege of representing the Chickasaw Nation at various functions and events across the country during their one-year reign.

Chickasaw Princess 2008-09 Carla Lane is the 22-year-old daughter of J.D. Lane and Janett (Brown) Lane, of Ravia, Okla.

“Since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of one day being the Chickasaw Princess. (It’s) a great honor to be able to hold the title, and I will, to the best to my ability, serve as a role model for other young Chickasaw people, and be someone that they would look up to.”

Lane said in her new role, she hopes to learn more about her heritage and help preserve the Chickasaw language, by sharing both with other young people.

Chickasaw Junior Princess Julie Leshell Underwood, of Reagan, Okla., aspires to be an outstanding goodwill ambassador for the Chickasaw Nation.

“To be chosen for the Chickasaw Junior Princess for 2008-2009 is a great honor and privilege.”

During her reign, the 13-year-old daughter of Darrell and Linda Underwood also hopes to convey her respect for her tribe to others.

Underwood is an eighth grader at Mill Creek Junior High School, where she is active in several academics and athletic organizations.

Little Miss Chickasaw Chelsea Lynn Wedlow, of Allen, Okla., said she will strive to make everyone in the Chickasaw Nation proud, particularly the elders.

“I work hard and try my best to make them proud and make the Chickasaw Nation proud.”

She is the nine-year-old daughter of Maceo Wedlow and Rachel (Stick) Wedlow. She is a fourth grade student at Allen (OK) Elementary School.

Maegan Carney, Ardmore, Andrea Underwood, Ada, and Krysten Wallace, Ada also participated in the Little Miss Chickasaw category, and in the Chickasaw Junior Princess category, the participants included Brittney Frazier, Ada, and Fichik Hita Frazier, also of Ada.

During the pageant ceremony, special recognition was paid to the princesses completing their reigns as Chickasaw royalty for 2007-2008, Chickasaw Princess Jaisen Monetathchi; Chickasaw Junior Princess Catie Newport; and Little Miss Chickasaw Alexis Walker.

“I have learned so many new things about my culture,” Alexis said during an emotional farewell address.

“This year has been an incredible year.” said Katie, adding she is a better person because of the things she learned during her reign.

Ms. Monetathchi said even though her reign is concluding, she will continue to serve her tribe to the best of her ability.

The Chickasaw princesses have been making appearances for many years. The heritage of the princesses goes back to 1963 when Ranell (James) Harry, daughter of former Chickasaw Governor Overton James, was appointed the first princess.

All royalty participants are required to be residents of the Chickasaw Nation and have a minimum one-quarter Chickasaw blood quantum, submit an essay, three letters of reference from non-relatives plus a 5x7 self-portrait.

For more information about the Chickasaw Princesses, contact Toni Castleberry at (580) 272-7710, or email

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