Proctor shares pageant experience
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — A few years back Amberly Proctor had not fully realized the confidence she had in herself.
The self-proclaimed homebody from Hanna, Oklahoma flourished once she stepped on stage for the first time to run for Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Amberly would go home that night in 2016 as runner-up losing to Brittany McKane for the title.
The loss did not stop her from trying again the next year. Amberly’s determination paid off when she won the title of Miss MCN for 2017-2018.
By the end of her reign, Amberly said being Miss MCN was one of the best experiences in her life and felt fully embraced by her fellow Muscogee people.
This acceptance by her own people inspired her to move forward for other opportunities.
Amberly said towards the end of her reign, she was encouraged to enter into the Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant. She initially was not quite convinced.
“I had considered but I had decided I wasn’t going to participate in the pageant,” she said. “As the deadline approached I started reflecting on my Miss Muscogee reign and how much I had enjoyed representing our Muscogee people.”
In a last minute decision, Amberly decided to take part in the 2018 Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant.
When she arrived to compete, a familiar face was amongst the other contestants.
It was the one who had taken the Miss MCN title before her, Brittany McKane. But a catty showdown of former pageant contestants was not to be expected. In fact, it was more of a kinship, the type the Miss MCN pageant has been known to create. The two had developed a friendship and finding each other again rekindled it.
“We were both so happy to see each other, it helped to have a friend there,” Amberly said. “We were there supporting one another as Mvskoke women.”
She said the Miss Indian Oklahoma pageant was very similar to the one she had during the Miss MCN pageant, the only difference was the broader scale of tribes being represented.
This first time experience would end with Amberly being crowned the new 2018-2019 Miss Indian Oklahoma, with her Mvskoke sister Brittany achieving runner-up.
When Amberly won her Miss MCN and Miss Indian Oklahoma titles she had presented a Mvskoke hymn, something significant to her connection with the Mvskoke culture.
“I discussed how many of our hymns are believed to have come over on the trail of tears and just to let them know they’re significant to Mvskoke culture,” she said.
Amberly said she also translated the lyrics to explain to the audience exactly what she was singing about.
Amberly said past Native royalty were influential during her first year as a contestant for Miss MCN.
“Having people like that to look up and to relate to their experience that helped me and inspired me to pursue my own experiences,” she said.
“Being Miss increased my confidence in myself and gave me skills to speak out in public and pursue these kind of opportunities.”
When asked if her situation represented the question ‘how do you know if you don’t try?’
Amberly answered simply, “Exactly.”
She said she looks forward to representing her tribe as well as other tribes within the state. Amberly said she is also looking forward to expanding her knowledge about the other tribes residing in Oklahoma.