Being Miss Warm Springs was something Keeyana Yellowman had wanted to do for some years. “I’ve always looked up to the former Miss Warm Springs, especially my mom,” Keeyana was saying recently.
Her mom is Merle Kirk, and her dad is Virgil Yellowman. Keeyana is a former Miss Junior Warm Springs, and Little Miss Warm Springs.
The Pageant judges last week at the Agency Longhouse chose her to represent the tribes as Miss Warm Springs 2016.
Keeyana, 18, is a senior at Madras High School. She is a co-founder, and now co-president of the Warm Springs Youth Council, advocating the interests of young people in the community.
The Council’s most recent project was a toy drive that brought in many Christmas presents for local families.
During the Miss Warm Springs Pageant, Keeyana performed a hand drum song that she had written. The song, in the Ichishkeen language, “is about having a good heart while being around our children,” Keeyana says.
“My grandma Mildred Queampts helped me with the translation.”
Keeyana is planning to attend the University of Oregon after she graduates from high school. She plans to study linguistics.
Keeyana has been around the Native languages for several years, as her grandmother and other elder relatives are speakers.
Keeyana is the fortieth Miss Warm Springs, carrying on a tradition that in 1955, when the tribes were celebrating the One-Hundred Year Anniversary of the Treaty of 1855.