Ciugun has left the building :)

 Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Ciugun has left the building :)
Apr 292012

Most Traditional trophy in hand with a sprinkling of sunburn and lack of sleep, Ciugun Kelsey Wallace and family departed Albuquerque this morning.
Last night after leaving the event we were joined by Grandma Shirley, Becky Maloy and her Auntie Linda and her daughter Angela and Mary Moses for a great time at the Famous Frontier restaurant. If you ever go to Albuquerque, it’s a must stop!
While we were eating I got a call from Kathy Hanson who put us on speakerphone with a group of well wishers in Bethel. Everyone was very encouraging and it was so nice to hear from Alaskans.
Right now we are in Phoenix waiting to head to Alaska.
Quyana cakneq tamarpeci!

 Posted by at 12:46 pm

Congratulations to Miss Indian World – Jessa Rae Growing Thunder

 Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Congratulations to Miss Indian World – Jessa Rae Growing Thunder
Apr 282012

Kelsey and all of us would like to congratulate Jessa Rae Growing Thunder on winning then 2012 Miss Indian World Pageant. We would also like to congratulate all of the participants. All of the contestants will travel with us in fond memories. Kelsey will write up a post Pageant letter after, but we actually have to pack and get to the airport.

To all of our supporters we would like to express our sincere gratitude for all your well wishes and kind words.

From Kelsey-
Winning most traditional is very meaningful to me. I brought our Yup’ik culture to the national stage. Im honored to be able to bring this award home. My culture and my pride in my people was carried with me as well as the spirits of my ancestors during my performance. I am super tired and will be able to express myself after a bit of rest.

Many thanks to everyone! Quyana Cakneq tamarpeci. Kenkamci.

Photos will be posted soon.

There is still much work to do as Miss WEIO- so stay tuned. 🙂

 Posted by at 7:28 pm

We have Arived

 Final Day  Comments Off on We have Arived
Apr 282012

We just arrived at the Pit. I’ll post the results as soon as we know something with my phone.

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

It’s all over but the Waiting!

 Final Day  Comments Off on It’s all over but the Waiting!
Apr 282012

Kelsey is in good spirits, yet she knows the competition is very tough and anything can happen. I talked with her this afternoon and she said she was proud to have represented her State and her People. “It was a great experience! Just being here is the reward.”

She looked beautiful this afternoon for Grand Entry wearing Letha Chimegalria’s Atkuk. It was the same one that she wore during WEIO. This evening she will be wearing the Chuna White Atkuk.

Wish her luck!

Like Chuna told her– “You have already won! At this point you are the Queen of Yupikdom.”

She represented her people and her State in fine fashion and we are very proud of her!

Go Kelsey!!

 Posted by at 2:29 pm

MIW 2012 – Speech Photos

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Apr 282012

The Speech Presentations were held at Stage 49, an outdoor venue. It was great to see so many Alaskans at the event. In fact, I would venture to guess that the Alaska crowd outnumbered the other groups. We were honored to have Sen. Albert Kookesh in attendance with us as well. As soon as the session was completed in Juneau, he hopped on a jet to get to Gathering of Nations.

 Posted by at 10:14 am

Gathering of Nations – Friday Grand Entry

 Blog, Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Gathering of Nations – Friday Grand Entry
Apr 282012

What an event! The stadium was filled with dancers. They bring the Grand Entry with the Chiefs and dignitaries from the Nations. Then Dancers arrive from each direction North South East West. The people dance around in a circle as streams of people enter the whirlpool of people. It was simply amazing to watch. I thought it was crowded, but then as you will see later, the Evening session was even MORE crowded. The regalia was unbelievable! Tribes from all corners of the Continent- Canada, U.S., and Mexico. The Miss Indian World contestants were beautiful. Kelsey was wearing Agnes McIntire’s squirrel parka made by Chuna with head regalia from Chuna as well. Beautiful!!

 Posted by at 6:54 am

Friday Miss Indian World- Today’s Activities

 Blog, Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Friday Miss Indian World- Today’s Activities
Apr 272012

Today will be a super busy day!

12:00pm Grand Entry – If you are going – Be there at 10-10:30

Right after- Impromptu Speeches (1 min)

This Evening- Grand Entry

Dance Competition

Ends at 10-12pm if on schedule.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is up early for crowning practice. Then Grand Entry, Crowning at 7pm, and then the PowWow completes.

Check in Sunday at 11am for the flight to Alaska!

It’s going to be busy

 Posted by at 7:36 am

Wow! What a Night!!

 Blog, Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Wow! What a Night!!
Apr 272012

The 2012 Talent Presentations were really amazing! It all started actually in the afternoon. People started lining up for the door opening around 3pm for a 6pm door opening! Auntie Theresa and Floyd were there early and a really awesome thing happened. I said to Theresa, “I hear there are even more Alaskans than I thought.” A lady next to me said, “Yeah.” I asked her where she was from and lo and behold she was a relation to Floyd and Theresa! Her uncle and Floyd had gone to school at Mt. Edgecumbe years ago and hadn’t seen each other for many years! It was a special meeting.

The doors finally opened and as everyone seated, Alfred and I setup for shooting the event. The show got underway at 7pm with an short show with the local tribe and a tribesman from New Zealand, who are visiting the event. Then the contestant presentations started! It was awesome to see all of the different regalia, customs, and languages presented.

Kelsey is number 27, so she was second to the last in the order. Waiting in the wings, so to speak, was also Sheila. As you will see, it was an awesome event. Afterwards Kelsey was greeted by many well wishers and family. It was a very special event.

Here are the photos- There are a bunch, but well worth the time to see all that happened! Video soon to be uploaded of Kelsey’s performance!

 Posted by at 7:30 am

All preparations ready for Talent Show

 Day 3 - Talent  Comments Off on All preparations ready for Talent Show
Apr 262012

Kelsey has been at the showroom since 8am this morning for rehearsals and such. Unfortunately they weren’t able to rehearse until this afternoon, but excitement is building for the show. Sheila got to the set at 12pm as she will rehearse with Kelsey once as well.

Grandma Wallace, Karole Kohl, Becky Maloy, Theresa, Floyd, and Mary Moses, as well as a group from our area are planning to attend.

Alfred and I are readying for the filming and photography to bring you action from the stage. Unfortunately several groups cannot be filmed, so we will do what we can to bring you the flavor of the event!

Wish Kelsey Luck!! I know I do!!

–John Wallace

 Posted by at 1:59 pm

Raffle Ticket Winners!

 Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Raffle Ticket Winners!
Apr 262012

Out of 16 total prizes, 3 names from our raffle tickets won prizes!!

Anna Johnson – (FAI?) $100

Edith Charles – (BET) Wooden Flute

Cathy Brooks – (FAI) Beaded Hairpin

We sold 3300 tickets for a total of $6600 that we were able to raise for Miss Indian World. Kelsey got $660 back for expenses but the big surprise is that the top two contestants who sold over 3000 tickets each will get an all expenses paid cruise later in the year!

We are so thankful to everyone who participated in the raffle. Quyana for your help!

 Posted by at 10:20 am

MIW 2012 – Day 2 Registration and Interview

 Day 2 - Registration - Interview  Comments Off on MIW 2012 – Day 2 Registration and Interview
Apr 252012

Today was the official registration day for Miss Indian World 2012. Kelsey and the contestants and chaperones arrived early to register and officially begin the Pageant. There are 28 contestants from around the nation and they all looked lovely in their regalia. We met girls and chaperones from Canada as well as many of the tribes in the Lower 48.

As we walked into the hall, who should we see but Yup’ik people!! There is a conference going on and we ran into several friendly faces from our region. They all are going to be at the Talent event, so we have a CHEERING SECTION!! Grandma Wallace is in town as well as Kelsey’s Auntie Theresa and her family. We are grateful for everyone in attendance!

After registration, where the girls officially signed in and got their number, the tickets and ticket money were turned over to the Miss Indian World pageant. Team Ciugun did GREAT! Our official total was 3300 tickets sold. We missed being first by 40 tickets, by a contestant from California. Considering our challenge of remoteness and a large State, we did outstanding!! Thank you to everyone that participated! Your ticket purchase allows the contest to continue each year. 10% of the ticket sales was returned to Kelsey which will be used to cover part of the travel expenses for the contest.

After the registration and introduction of organizers, chaperones were asked to leave so the contest could begin. The first event, a personal interview with questions, was held immediately following the registration. As number 27, Kelsey is next to last in each event. After the event Kelsey was upbeat and needed one thing after they were released for a break– A NAP!!

Later in the evening, the contestants gathered together for dinner with just the organizers and contestants to get to know one another. The drawing was also held, but we will post the winning names in a separate post. Out of 16 possible winners, Team Ciugun is responsible for 3 winners!!

Tomorrow is a big day getting ready for the Talent presentations, so Kelsey is resting now so she is ready as ready can be! Good Luck Kelsey!!

Here are today’s photos!

 Posted by at 9:20 pm

Miss Indian World 2012 is Underway!

 Blog, Day 1  Comments Off on Miss Indian World 2012 is Underway!
Apr 242012

Kelsey checked into the Hard Rock Hotel in Albuquerque and attended the orientation for contestants this evening marking the opening of the Pageant. A total of 28 contestants from around the country and Canada are competing for the title. Tomorrow starts at 8am sharp. Kelsey will turn in the tickets and also have her personal interview. The schedule is very busy and all of the girls will have their work cut out for them. Here are some photos of the check in!

 Posted by at 11:10 pm

We are in Albuquerque! The Adventure Begins!

 Miss Indian World 2012, Trip to Albuquerque  Comments Off on We are in Albuquerque! The Adventure Begins!
Apr 222012

Since July when I was crowned Miss WEIO, this day seemed so far away. But my family and I are now in Albuquerque in preparation for the Miss Indian World Competition. Whew!!

I flew down to Anchorage and I met my Dad so we could get all of the Raffle ticket money counted and ready to take to Miss Indian World. My Dad treated me to Sushi in Anchorage and then we left at 2:30am (EARLY!!!!) on the way to Seattle, Phoenix (via the Grand Canyon) and then into Albuquerque! It was a long day and we were very ready for a nap, but not before sampling some local food. BUMMER— The pool is broken!!!

I am so thankful for all of the support. Chuna McIntyre agreed to meet us here, so we sent him a ticket and my mom and I have been going over all of the regalia for the event. He is such an artist and has such knowledge of the Yup’ik tradition. I am awestruck by all that he knows and does. His regalia, as you will see, is simply amazing! I am so honored to wear it for our people.

Here are photos from the trip. My dad will be blogging from here on out and keeping you posted. Wish me luck!!

 Posted by at 6:01 pm

Gathering of Nations – World’s Largest Native American Cultural Event

 Miss Indian World 2012  Comments Off on Gathering of Nations – World’s Largest Native American Cultural Event
Apr 182012

Press Release—–

Showcases Artistic, Dance, Musical and Culinary Experiences
Hundreds of Thousands of People to Attend Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque between April 26 and 28

Albuquerque, NM – January 25, 2012 – The world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico between April 26 and 28, 2012. The 29th Annual Gathering of Nations, considered the most prominent Native American powwow in the world, will host tens of thousands of people and more than 500 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world celebrating their culture and traditions through dance, music, food and indigenous dress including feathers, bells, jingles and fringes.

The three-day event will include more than 3,000 traditional Native American singers and dancers will compete and entertain a capacity crowd, and more than 800 Native American artisans, craftsmen and traders will display and sell their work. In addition, dozens of different indigenous bands will be performing musical genres including country, reggae, rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and rock ‘n’ roll. Vendors in the Native Food Court will offer guests a wide variety of food choices ranging between southwestern-style cuisine and traditional Native American fare.
As part of the Gathering of Nations, a young Native American woman will be crowned Miss Indian World and represent all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador. As one of the largest and most prestigious cultural pageants, Native American and indigenous women representing their different tribes and traditions will compete in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, and personality assessment.

“We expect that this year’s Gathering of Nations to be the largest and most exciting powwow in the event’s 29-year history,” said Derek Mathews, founder of the Gathering of Nations. “From the drum and dance a competitions to the musical performances, this year’s gathering of Nations is sure to be an exhilarating experience for everyone.”

Considered one of the leading folk festivals in the world, the Gathering of Nations will be held at the University of New Mexico’s University Arena (known locally as “The Pit”) in Albuquerque and will begin on Thursday, April 26 with registration for singers and dancers. Later that evening, the Miss Indian World competition begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel – Albuquerque, just south of the Albuquerque city limits. The crowning will take place on Saturday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. at “The Pit.” The much anticipated “Grand Entry,” where thousands of Native American dancers simultaneously enter the stadium dressed in colorful outfits to the sounds of hundreds of beating drums, begins at noon on Friday, April 27.

Powwow tickets cost $17 per day and can be purchased at the door during the event or in advance online through mid–April 2012. For participants and guests traveling to the Gathering of Nations from outside the state, Southwest Airlines has special airfare deals. In addition, the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel – Albuquerque is the host hotel for the event and is providing special room rates and camping facilities at Isleta Lakes as well. For more information regarding purchasing tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations visit

 Posted by at 4:15 pm
Apr 142012

Thank you to everyone that has supported the effort!

Flora Roddy is at the WEIO office (4th & Cushman)  today (Saturday, April 14).  She still have tickets to sell.  $2 buys you a chance to win many great Native American prizes and support Kelsey!!  Call her at 978-8084

Kelsey is out and about as well- Give her a call and she can stop by- 799-6149

Anchorage Gals are out and about- Don’t have phone numbers, but Yvonne Jackson, Selena Malone, Barbara Nicholson, and Verla Mojin have tickets!

It’s the final countdown!

A week from now we are going to be in Albuquerque!

 Posted by at 1:15 pm
Apr 132012

A week from this evening my Family and I will be heading to Miss Indian World! Everyone is excited and I am anxious to meet all the other ladies.

Thanks everyone! The plan is to have daily updates during the event and maybe even some live video.

As I travel to the Pageant, please know that you are all with me!!

I was a bit stressed last night, so it was definitely time for Native Food! This was dinner– Muktuk, Dry Fish, and a bowl of Oxtail! YUM!!

We are still selling raffle tickets– We have quite a ways to go, but we are making progress.

Anchorage- Yvonne Jackson, Selena Malone, and Verla Mojin

Fairbanks – Carmen Sears, WEIO Office, Kelsey Wallace (ME)

Bethel- Sheila Wallace, John Wallace, Theresa Moses

Or Buy them ONLINE!


 Posted by at 11:04 am