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New Miss Yavapai-Apache Nation

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Miss Yavapai-Apache Nation 2019 Chelsea Kaska of Globe, Arizona carries the new title to represent the Nation. (Photo by D.Decker)

Miss Yavapai-Apache Nation 2019 Chelsea Kaska 

 How important is culture to young people? Such as your Apache spirituality that you practice,,using Apache language to pray with, the pollen, feather, songs  and so forth.

The importance of culture and tradition should be important to every Native American person. However in today’s society the importance of culture and tradition is not as important as it once was. When I was in high school I know I was shy and didn’t want anyone to know that I was traditional or could understand Apache. Now I am very proud, today you don’t see many young people speaking their language or practicing it or even know the meaning of why we do the things we do at certain times of the year. The feather and pollen each have their own stories and are very powerful and when brought together and every song tells a story and is used at different types of ceremonies. That is a story to share at another time.

Fortunately, I was raised by my Da’ Saan’ maternal great-great Grandmother Della, who shared stories and songs with me about my clan Tse’bina’zl’taa’ and how we come from a strong bloodline and are direct descendants of Apache Kid. On my paternal side my Jackson family know their Yavapai –Apache language and have their own stories my father has shared and on the Kaska side they are also enriched with Supai tradition, culture and have been fighting for their reservation that lies within the Grand Canyon. Both sides of my family have instilled traditional values within my siblings and I. 

What was your talent you performed a week ago for the pageant?

For my talent, I shared the Apache Creation Story that also combines with the Sunrise Ceremony that has been passed down for many generation, throughout many different families. The story talks about Usen (The Creator), giving life to Mother Earth as well as us human beings. The significance of dancing on our knees for four songs and why we use an abalone shell.

 My modern talent, I explained the importance of balancing a traditional life with a modern life. Both worlds should always be balanced and one should never outweigh the other. When you have a Sunrise Ceremony, you pray for your health, education and to have a good long life. In the modern world, you need to have an education to make a decent living. Your education should be the first step to building a steady foundation, while you’re building your foundation one should never forget to pray and give thanks to The Creator for all his blessings. I felt like explaining this for my modern talent was very fitting and important because I am old enough to understand the importance of balancing both paths.

How did you feel when you found out you were selected to be the new Miss YAN? And the blankets that you bought to pass out to the elders here….how did that come about?

I felt honored, excited and happy that I was selected to be an ambassador for the Yavapai Apache Nation. This would give me a chance to share the knowledge I was given by my elders to pass on to the younger generation, to also be a positive role model and mentor.

Growing up I was always told, take care of your elders for they have paved the way and had took care of us with their teaching and prayers. Meaning that you’ll be blessed with a long and knowledgeable life such as theirs. Giving the blankets to the elders was just a small gesture to say “thank you” and to let them know that I have much respect for them. They deserve the most respect

What kind of hobbies do you have?

I spend my time at the gym, I love to run distance, it helps clear my mind and I use that time to pray. I also like to weight lift because I am a smaller female and it makes me feel powerful and teaches self-love. I’m also a frequent Disneyland goer, I love Disney. I always told everyone I was a Princess and now it’s true. Other than that spending most of my time with my family, as we’re getting older the less I see them because we’re either in class, work or running errands, So whatever time I get to spend with them is special.

 What are your educational plans in the future?

I am in the process of obtaining my Business Degree and also starting another path for my Accounting Degree. I work under the CFO and GM of the Apache Gold Casino Resort and they are both very smart women, I look up to them a lot. I have been in the gaming industry for four years now and have seen the significance and impact Tribal Gaming has for all Tribal Nations. Once I am finished with both Degree’s I would love to give back to The Yavapai -Apache Nation and work for them sharing my knowledge and possibly becoming the Nations CEO or Chairwoman one day.

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Editor’s Note:

Yavapai-Apache Nation has been without a Miss Yavapai-Apache Nation for 2 years.

Ms. Kaska. 24, is a student at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher and is employed by the Apache Gold Casino. Chelsea graduated from Globe High School (Globe Tigers) in 2012 and has one brother and a set of younger twin sisters. Chelsea is the oldest of the siblings.

Mother, Christina, San Carlos Apache, works at the tribal casino in Cutter about 6 miles from Globe while Curtis Kaska, Jr., who is the son of Curtis Kaska, Sr. of the Havasupai Nation, is employed by the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Curtis’s mother is from the Jackson family from Rimrock.

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