2018-03-29 / Front Page

Tribal member competes on world stage

Stonefish now a MSU junior
By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

BEEDOSKAH STONEFISH of Peshawbestown will compete in the Miss Indian World competition next month in Albuquerque, N.M. BEEDOSKAH STONEFISH of Peshawbestown will compete in the Miss Indian World competition next month in Albuquerque, N.M. A 2015 Suttons Bay graduate who has become the pride of the Grand Traverse Band is in the running for Miss Indian World.

Beedoskah Stonefish, 20, of Suttons Bay, will compete in the Miss Indian World Competition during the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow April 24-28 in Albuquerque, N.M.

She is representing the Ottawa, Chippewa, Delaware, and Potawatomi nations of the Great Lakes.

“It’s an honor to have someone like Miss Stonefish represent the Grand Traverse Band,” said David Arroyo, treasurer of the Tribal Council. “She’s a wonderful role model. It’s been wonderful watching her grow up and it means a lot to us to have someone represent the GTB as such a positive role model.”

Stonefish was born and raised on the Grand Traverse Band reservation in Peshawbestown. She also comes from Bkejwanong First Nations in Walpole Island, Ontario.

She studies human biology at Michigan State University, where she is a junior.

“I would like to become a physician and integrate medical science with native holistic practices, culture and language,” Stonefish said.

She attended Suttons Bay School from kindergarten through 12th grades. During her time there, Stonefish was recognized locally and beyond, for her native dancing. She was the 2009 World Hoop Dancing champion and now dances “fancy shawl,” which she describes as a newer, more contemporary dance.

“It’s more athletic and high impact than other dances,” she said.

The Miss Indian World Competition is a culturally-based pageant with many activities. In addition to an essay required from entrants, contestants are evaluated on dancing, a personal interview, public speaking and on traditional talent.

“It’s the biggest part of the competition and includes storytelling, dance… It’s a full stage production,” she said.

For her traditional talent, Stonefish and sisters Waskewane Stonefish, 19, and Cheyenne Hopps, 27, will present the Anishinaabe healing jingle dress dance.

Contestants representing indigenous peoples throughout the world will participate in the competition. The winner of Miss Indian World will serve as cultural ambassador for Native people throughout the world and will spent the next year traveling and promoting cultural awareness, diversity & the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow globally.

The Gathering of Nations Pow Wow is the largest event of its in the United States and North America. More than 565 tribes from around the United States and 220 from Canada travel to Albuquerque to participate.

Beekoskah is the daughter of Joyce Petoskey of Peshawbestown and Walker Stonefish of Walpole Island, Ontario, Canada.

Arroyo has had a close seat from which to watch Stonefish mature. His son, Adam, attended Suttons Bay schools with Stonefish. Adam is majoring in environmental studies at Northern Michigan University.

“It’s been fun and wonderful watching them grow from children to adults,” he said.

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