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Oklahoma State University



Autumn Only A Chief, the newly crowned Miss American Indian Oklahoma State University 2015, plans to use her position and education to promote nutritional health among Native Americans. Only A Chief is a Pawnee Native American from Pawnee, Okla.

The nutritional sciences, allied health major in the College of Human Sciences says Native Americans have high obesity and diabetes rates, possibly because of the foods served at traditional feasts. As an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Stephany Parker in the Eagle Adventure program, Only A Chief can help promote nutritional health to Native American children by storytelling and games.

“Health is important in order to prolong the life of Native Americans because our older generations have so much to teach us about our ancestry and traditions,” Only A Chief said. “We need to keep our traditions around as long as we can”

For the talent category of the pageant, she told the Pawnee creation story, which went into detail of her Indian name Sa-Ku-re-sat-o-pe-rit, which means “Evening Star”.

“I feel like that section was powerful in some history of our tribes, while having the audience visually captivated,” Only A Chief said.

The annual pageant is hosted by the Native American Student Association providing a $1,000 scholarship to the winner.

Only A Chief continues to learn and practice her Native American culture, opening many doors for her in school activities, academics and career choices. She has traveled across the country to conferences and educational programs as a part of her heritage.

She received the high honor of being named a Gates Millennium Scholar receiving a full scholarship for her college education. She is among 1,000 minorities from all over the United States who were selected for their academics, leadership, service and extracurricular activity.

This summer she will be interning in New York City on behalf of the Summer Public Health Scholars program sponsored by Columbia University.

“I am most grateful to be Pawnee because I would not be who I am or where I am without this privilege,” Only A Chief said.