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S’Klallam Tribe crowns its royal court

LITTLE BOSTON — As part of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal culture, honoring a young woman within the tribe to represent the group at various functions is a long, time-honored tradition.

With this duty comes maintaining high standards, such as being a good role model and being able to teach others about the tribe.

Tribal member Tawny DeCoteau, 16, has been bestowed this honor as the new S’Klallam Day Senior Princess. She was crowned the title Sept. 26 during the tribe’s annual sporting festival, S’Klallam Day.

“I know being princess comes with a lot of responsibility and I am confident I will do a good job,” DeCoteau said. “I feel proud and blessed to be given the opportunity to represent the tribe.”

While DeCoteau was crowned S’Klallam Day Senior Princess, three other girls were awarded titles as well. Lauren Moon was crowned S’Klallam Day Princess, Alexyss Jones was crowned Little Miss S’Klallam Day and Jordan DeCoteau was crowned Junior S’Klallam Day Princess.

The girls are responsible for representing the tribe at pow-wows and other tribal events as well as helping at community functions. They will also teach non-natives about the tribe’s culture.

For a long time, other tribes didn’t know about the Little Boston tribe, Moon said. By sending princesses to other events the past 14 years, the presence of the group has grown.

“It’s a chance to educate people about our tribe, let people know we are a Native American tribe. We’re small but we’re here,” said pageant coordinator Mandi Moon. “It gives (the girls) the opportunity to be a princess and I think it’s a great thing.”

The pageant started in 1989, when Moon was crowned the first S’Klallam Day Princess.

“Being S’Klallam Princess provided me with the opportunity to educate people about the tribe,” said Moon. “I now help to coordinate the event so we can guarantee this tradition will continue and our girls don’t miss out on this fun and rewarding educational experience.”

During the contest, the girls are judged on answers to impromptu questions, recite a speech on why they want to be a S’Klallam princess and perform a S’Klallam legend dance. During their tenure, they are expected to do well in school and serve as good role models.

The competition this year for the four spots was intense, as 30 girls signed up to be a part of the contest, Moon said, adding that the turnout is usually half that.

“I know a part of it is that girls always talk abut it,” Moon said about why the large turnout this year. “They see the fun we have.”

staff Writer

LITTLE BOSTON — As part of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal culture, honoring a young woman within the tribe to represent the group at various functions is a long, time-honored tradition.

With this duty comes maintaining high standards such as being a good role model and being able to teach others about the tribe.

Tribal member Tawny DeCoteau, 16, has been bestowed with this honor as the new S’Klallam Day Senior Princess.

She was crowned the title Sept. 26 during the tribe’s annual sporting festival, S’Klallam Day.

“I know being Princess comes with a lot of responsibility and I am confident I will do a good job,” DeCoteau said. “I feel proud and blessed to be given the opportunity to represent the Tribe.”

While DeCoteau was crowned S’Klallam Day Senior Princess, three other girls were awarded titles as well. Lauren Moon was crowned S’Klallam Day Princess, Alexyss Jones was crowned Little Miss S’Klallam Day and Jordan DeCoteau was crowned Junior S’Klallam Day Princess.

The girls are responsible for representing the Tribe at pow-wows and tribal events as well as helping at community functions. They also teach others about the tribe’s culture. For a long time, other tribes didn’t know about the Little Boston tribe, Moon said. By sending princesses to other events the past 14 years, the presence of the group has grown.

“It’s a chance to educate people about our tribe, let people know we are a Native American tribe. We’re small but we’re here,” said pageant coordinator Mandi Moon. “It gives (the girls) the opportunity to be a princess and I think it’s a great thing.”

The pageant started in 1989, when Moon was crowned the first S’Klallam Day Princess.

“Being S’Klallam Princess provided me with the opportunity to educate people about the tribe,” said Moon. “I now help to coordinate the event so we can guarantee this tradition will continue and our girls don’t miss out on this fun and rewarding educational experience.”

During the contest, the girls are judged on answers to impromptu questions, recite a speech on why they want to be a S’Klallam princess and perform a S’Klallam legend dance. During their tenure, they are expected to do well in school and be a good role model.

The competition this year for the four spots was intense, as 30 girls signed up to be a part of the contest, Moon said, adding that the turnout is usually half that.

“I know a part of it is that girls always talk abut it,” Moon said about why the large turnout this year. “They see the fun we have.”

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