Haliwa-Saponi crown new tribal royalty
From Contributed Reports
Sunday, April 14, 2019
The Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe recently hosted its annual Tiny Miss/Little Miss/Junior Miss Princess Pageant.
Starting in 2011, this pageant is a fundraiser where candidates compete by raising money to support tribal causes over the course of a specified time frame. The contestant who raises the most money in her category is crowned to hold the title for one year.
A new addition to the contest this year was a fourth category for males. Dubbed the “Haliwa-Saponi Warrior,” this contest is for males age 5-18, and has similar requirements as the contest for the females.
Outgoing 2018-19 princesses this year were Amya Richardson, Junior Miss Haliwa-Saponi; Amilia Berrun, Little Miss Haliwa-Saponi; and Laila Leonard, Tiny Miss Haliwa-Saponi. The contest allowed each of the outgoing princesses time to speak to this year's contestants to offer words of encouragement as well as farewells.
The incoming 2019-20 winners were then crowned. New princesses for the Haliwa-Saponi are Mia Richardson, Tiny Miss Haliwa-Saponi; Linzie Evans, Little Miss Haliwa-Saponi; and Teanna Richardson, Junior Miss Haliwa-Saponi.
The first-ever Haliwa-Saponi Warrior contest yielded two primary contestants. From these two, Daniel Richardson was awarded the title of Haliwa-Saponi Warrior.
In addition to the new category for males, this year’s contest made history in two additional ways. Garnering in excess of over $27,000, it is the largest amount ever donated to the tribe during the annual competition. At a total contribution of $26,005, 9-year-old Little Miss contestant Linzie Evans also made history for the most money ever raised by a contestant in the pageant’s history. The largest portion of her total contributions was a donation initiated by Poarch Band Tribal Council member Keith Martin. Earmarked for use of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School, Martin sent a donation of $25,000 from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Linzie first met Martin in February when she traveled to Washington, D.C., with her parents so that her sister, Abby Richardson, the 2017-18 Junior Miss Haliwa-Saponi, could attend the National Congress of American Indians. While at NCAI, Abby and then Miss Haliwa-Saponi Selena Lynch opened the State of the Indian Nations address, another history-making moment for the Haliwa.
Due to an untimely family circumstance, Martin was unable to be present for the check presentation. Standing in for Martin, was Dewitt Carter, Tribal Council member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
“In every tribal community, there’s a storyteller. Well, Keith Martin is our storyteller ... he’s got a big heart,” Carter said. “So when he heard about the school, Keith wanted to give. Do well with this, and maybe we can help again and look to make this an annual event.”