Camille Summer Johnson, a citizen of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, was named second runner up at the Miss Indian World competition at the Gathering of Nations powwow in late April.
Johnson, 25, also won first place in the public speaking portion of the competition.
“I chose to enter the Miss Indian World pageant to inspire the youth and young girls of my Tribe,” Johnson said. “After completing the pageant, I hope I inspired young girls of the Tribe to consider vying for this title in the future. I want to be someone who the girls of my tribe or anyone can come to for anything, whether it be words of encouragement or just someone to talk to.”
Johnson, of the Deer Clan, has lived on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Reservation for her entire life. She received her Bachelor of Science in public health from Baylor University in 2021 and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) specializing in community health, also at Baylor. She is employed by the Tribe as the Public Health Director for the Chief Kina Health Clinic.
This year’s Miss Indian World pageant had 25 contestants and several different competitions including essay, personal interview, traditional talent, public speaking and dance. During the public speaking competition, Johnson was asked to describe ways that her Tribe is working to preserve its culture.
“Although I did not win the Miss Indian World title, I feel honored to have finished as the second runner-up, as well as winning the best public speaker award,” Johnson said.
Yurok and Karuk Tribal member Terri McDonnell from Northwestern California was crowned 2023-24 Miss Indian World and will represent Indigenous people throughout her tenure.