FORT HALL — Three candidates are vying for the title of Miss Shoshone-Bannock and they are Ontaria Ariwite, Stormie Perdash and Dystnee Rope.
They will be judged on traditional talent August 7 at 6 p.m. with the location to be determined. Contestants will be in the Children’s Parade on August 8 at 10 a.m. Traditional dish presentation is the same day at 5 p.m. at the dance arbor. Dance competition is August 9 at 5 p.m. at the dance arbor followed by the crowning of the new queen at 6 p.m.
Following are the contestant’s information.
Ontaria Ariwite is running for the title of Miss Shoshone-Bannock.
She is a daughter of December Ariwite and is from the Fort Hall District.
Her Indian name is “Good Heart Woman” – a young lady who has a good heart that makes people feel good.
She intends to focus on diabetes awareness if she gets selected to encourage all tribal members to eat health and exercise daily to prevent diabetes.
An experience that attributed to her growth as a young lady is when she won the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Red Dress special at the Gathering of Nations.
Ontaria’s message to youth is to stay off electronics and be active. “Staying active can help you be in shape and be energized. You can have lots of fun playing activities with your friends and family.”
Ontaria has numerous accomplishments: Indian Education program academic achievement; letter for art and a pin; a bar for track and field for four years; lettered in cross country for four years; a pin for Spanish (three years); award for attending Congress of Future Science and Technology leaders; Indian Education program perfect attendance; Blackfoot High School honor roll and government award for art competition.
Royalty titles she has won include: Miss Ethete celebration; Eastern Shoshone Indian Days Princess; Eastern Shoshone Indian Days junior princess; Sho-Ban Festival princess; Fort Duchesne Fourth of July Powwow Princess; Fort Hall Indian Days Princess and Fort Hall Elementary princess.
Her community involvement includes: Ross Fork District clean up; Eagle Lodge District clean up; PTSD awareness; Tommy Vans 5k and Girls on the Run in Fort Hall.
Ontaria’s hobbies include traveling; dancing; drawing; cooking; running and crafting.
Her educational goal is to graduate with a degree from college, have a job and travel everywhere with her family.
She will be dancing traditional and her two grandmothers made her regalia in 1987.
For her traditional dish she is making Bannock bread with a side dish of “bacon juice” with ketchup. Her grandmother taught her how to cook and to prepare her family’s traditional dish. Her grandma taught her when she was Ontaria’s age.
For her traditional talent, Ontaria will demonstrate traditional jingle dancing. “I was taught dancing traditional jingle from my grandma by the age of 13,” she said. “My grandma was taught by two Ojibwe women from Ponemah, Minnesota in 1991.
Stormie Perdash, 23, from the Buffalo Lodge District is vying for the title of Miss Shoshone-Bannock.
Stormie is the daughter of Char Perdash. Her Indian name is Tsaan Na’vi Wa’aipe, which means Good Looking Woman. She is a contemporary style jingle dress dancer.
Her platform as Miss Shoshone-Bannock will be “Breaking the Unhealthy Cycle,” which will focus on obesity and drug and alcohol abuse, which all tend to lead to low self esteem within the Sho-Ban community. Stormie wants to create a life that encompasses healthy living habits and personal confidence, all while being drug and alcohol free. She wants her lifestyle choices to prove to community members how important it is to lead a happy and healthy life.
An experience that’s attributed to her growth is coming across both Native and non-Native cultures throughout her travels.
“I wholeheartedly feel having a strong understanding of both cultures gives you an upper hand in navigating the world we live in today, especially being a Native woman that has entered the modeling industry. Knowing who I am and where I come from helped set me apart from most models. With Native people lacking an accurate and positive presence in Hollywood, I aim to become that positive representation. Being the minority of the minorities can be challenging at times, but knowing I have such a strong support systems, such as Indian Country, gives me the confidence I need to be not only a model, but a positive role model as well,” she explained.
Stormie’s message to youth is to always choose originality over popularity. She said following your passions and dreams might seem funny and childish at times, but it will always set you a part from the pack. Don't be afraid of change and challenges those obstacles will only make you a stronger person in the end.
“By peaking your passions and goals into the universe, it will ultimately lead them to becoming a reality. It is also important to not stray away from our culture, always remember to remain true to who we were always to be as Shoshone-Bannock people,” she said.
Her academic accomplishments include RHS Native Student of the Year, SKC Student of the Year, AA Native American Studies, and AA Tribal Governance.
Previous titles she represented were Shoshone-Bannock Festival Princess, Eastern Shoshone Indian Days Queen, Miss Salish Kootenai College, and Best Dancer at Miss Indian World Pageant in 2016. She’s also a signed model with Rocky Mountain Entertainment Agency and Wunder Models Los Angeles.
As community involvement Stormie supports basketball teams at tournaments. She attended local Sho-Ban High sporting events and assemblies. She dances at local powwows, talks with youth at Fort Hall Recreation and made ribbon vests for Head Start class.
Her hobbies include sewing jingle dresses, and ribbon skirts. She also made both her dresses and beadwork, which she began making when she was 16. She also enjoys beading, traveling, modeling, is a background actor, dancing at powwows and exercising.
She plans on going back to school within the next three years. She would also like to gain more cultural knowledge and become more fluent in the Shoshone language.
Stormie will be making Bannock and dry meat with a side of chokecherry pudding for her traditional dish presentation. She learned to make Bannock from her mom. Her family and her grandpa taught her how to cut and dry meat. She learned to make chokecherries from an elder.
Her traditional talent will be demonstrating the traditional lazy stitch method of beadwork along with sharing traditional Shoshone floral designs.
Dystnee A. Rope is a candidate for Miss Shoshone-Bannock.
She is 18 and from the Gibson District of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Her Indian name is “Ban-Zu-Gu” or otter.
She is a daughter of Darcey A. Trejo.
Her platform is the importance, causes and effects of alcohol abuse within the Native community.
She believes she’s grown from a tiny rose into a full bloom rose, “I’ve gained more confidence, knowledge and wisdom to know that my voice can be heard.”
Her message to youth is to learn from different people and hear their points of view. “Without education, you can’t succeed in life cause everything requires higher education,” she said. “By working hard in school everything pays off in the end.”
Among her achievements, she was crowned Miss Indian Blackfoot High School during her senior year. She danced at various powwows as first attendant. She managed to maintain good grades throughout her senior year. She was involved in many high school clubs including FFA, Indian Club and her biggest honor was being a guest speaker at Fort Hall Elementary School to talk about child abuse awareness.
Community involvement includes volunteering to help her aunt organize yearly activities and dinners in the Eagle Lodge (Gibson) District. She also helps with reservation clean up at the end of August and September.
Dystnee’s hobbies include doing beadwork, sewing, drawing, playing a little basketball, swimming and powwow dancing. “I like to travel to other places in different states,” she continued. She also likes to go deer hunting, salmon fishing and camping.
Her educational goal are to earn a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural studies but hasn’t yet decided.
Her dance style is jingle dress. Her mother Darcy Trejo made her dress. The bear paw on it represents a family name on her maternal side “Bearhat.” The colors represent: green-strength; yellow-courage; orange-knowledge; red-wisdom and gold-beauty.
The traditional dish Dystnee intends to cook is salmon in a step-by-step process with explanation. She will explain cleaning the fish, how to collect the eggs if female, how to gut and gut the fish, how to cook fish over the fire and how to remove the stakes. Her mother Darcy taught her to prepare that was passed on to her from the Nevada family side.
Dystnee’s traditional talent is storytelling of a variety of stories.