Cheyenne Kippenberger, 23, of Hollywood, Fla. has won the prestigious Miss Indian World competition, becoming the first member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to be named Miss Indian World and wear the coveted crown.
Kippenberger was named the 36th Miss Indian World at the recent Gathering of Nations pow wow event in Albuquerque, N.M. She was one of 17 contestants vying for the title before a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 attendees. During the course of the 4-day competition, Kippenberger won the Best Interview Award and the Traditional Talent Award.
The competition includes a focus on public speaking, traditional talent, interview, essay and dance. Qualifying contestants must be of native or indigenous American descent, single, with no children and never married. Miss Indian World Pageant officials point to the competition’s reputation for crowning winners who display a profound knowledge of their tribes’ traditions, history, ancestors and culture.
Kippenberger is a 2018 graduate of Keiser University with an associate’s degree in accounting. She hopes to work in finance or accounting for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. She was previously crowned Miss Florida Seminole Princess in July, 2018, but has relinquished that title as a result of being named Miss Indian World.
“I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed with happiness and love,” Kippenberger said. “I’m so proud to be Seminole and to have my community behind me in support. I promise to hold this title proudly and represent my people and all indigenous people honorably.”
The inaugural Miss Indian World pageant was held in 1984 and since its inception, Native American women ages 18 to 25 have traveled from all regions of the continent to represent their tribes and compete for the coveted crown. Its purpose is to give young Native American women an opportunity to showcase their tribes and cultures; while serving as a cultural Ambassador of Native Americans by demonstrating the pride and continuance of the diverse cultures of Native people.