By: Lani Hansen, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Mvskoke Media continues the series of “Former MCN princesses: Where are they now?” with series five featuring Shannon Barnett. Barnett served as Muscogee (Creek) Nation Princess in 2015-2016.
According to Barnett, the MCN pageants have not changed very much in the last four years. She said they have added the social skills portion to the current pageants. This portion is where they meet before the pageant for a reception to allow contesants to speak with others.
During her reign as princess she grew a lot and learned lifelong skills that she is still using especially her self-confidence, public speaking and growing her Mvskoke cultural knowledge. Serving as the princess she also had the opportunity to travel and attend many events.
Barnett said she loves seeing the royalty who served in the years after her go out and experience all the opportunities in travelling.
“The out-of-state events I got to go to were California for an at-large meeting,” Barnett said. “I went to Washington D.C., the homelands trip to Georgia that all of the royalty gets to go on, Denver March and Gathering [of Nations].”
After passing down her reign, Barnett continued her studies at Northeastern State University at the Broken Arrow campus. She will be graduating in May 2020 with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.
As a student, Barnett has been with Broken Arrow Public Schools Indian Education since 2015. She visits all five middle schools and helps with Muscogee (Creek) tutoring. Since 2017, Barnett has been an adjunct instructor at College of Muscogee Nation teaching beginning Mvskoke language.
“After graduation, I hope to continue teaching the Mvskoke language,” Barnett said.
The MCN pageant committee tries to involve the former princesses by inviting them back to help with the pageants. For the past couple of years, Barnett has helped with the Mvskoke language during their retreat.
For future contestants Barnett said, “Have self confidence in yourself, step out of your comfort zone because being a part of the pageant even if you are not the next title holder it is still a growing experience.”
Stay tuned on Jan. 1 issue as we find out where former Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation Samantha Coon is now.