11-year-old Mirabel Goodstriker from Siksika Nation was recently crowned Miss Junior Blackfoot Canada, which is a competition between the three Blackfoot Nations of Kainai, Blackfoot and Piikani.
As an ambassador for the nations, Goodstriker said it's really exciting to have the crown, and she enjoys the responsibilities that come with her role like giving speeches. It took a lot of work to earn such a well-respected role, as she said she had to write an essay and give several speeches about the Blackfoot people and history, as well as dance powwow.
Goodstriker said she's been to many events since winning the crown, like the Calgary Flames' first ever Indigenous celebration game, Stampeders' games, and more. While being in front of that many people may seem intimidating to some, Goodstriker is proud to represent Blackfoot culture and gratefully accepts the responsibilities that come with being an ambassador for all Blackfoot nations.
Goodstriker's passion and dedication doesn't come as a surprise, as she comes from a family that lives and breathes powwow. Her late mother was Miss Siksika in 1995 and then she went on to become the Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess in 1996. Her late father, Jason Goodstriker was a world-renowned powwow announcer.
Goodstriker’s grandmother Vicki Yellow Old Woman says that she got her love of being a princess from her mother and the love of powwow from her father.
“She has got a bit of history there and she just loves to dance. She has been dancing since she was basically a newborn. She was out in the arena with her mom.”
Yellow Old Woman says that she started out as a traditional dancer and even won competitions at just two years old. Her love of dance continues to this day, as Goodstriker practices 6-10 songs every day, which is a lot of work but she loves it.
"We are so proud of her, we are proud of her accomplishment, and she is a sweet little girl we are proud of who she has become in her own right.”
Goodstriker's pride and passion for Blackfoot culture doesn't stop there though, as Yellow Old Woman explained she also earned an honorable mention for the 2022 Honouring Spirit Indigenous Student Award. She started the first club celebrating Indigenous culture at Carseland school, where she taught her friends and other classmates about Blackfoot culture and how to dance powwow.
As for what Goodstriker's future hold, she said she wants to continue running for princess roles, stating she won't need to get a job as she'll just be a full-time princess instead. As for the immediate future, Goodstriker will be at the Lead by Example Powwow hosted in Strathmore.
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