Youth and Education news
April 1, 2012
Mariah Watchman of
‘America’s Next Top Model’ Boosts Crow Congressional Candidate
Jason Ward kicked off his 2012 election in style, with a little
help from Indian country’s next top model.
Ward, a Democrat,
aims to replace Republican Denny Rehberg in the U.S. House of
Representatives. Rehberg is running for the U.S. Senate.
America’s Top Model Contestant Mariah Watchman (Confederated
Tribes of The Umatilla Indian Reservation)
Jeremy Stands Over Bull (Crow) organized and emceed the event.
“These young girls know of me, and know of Top Model, and know what I’ve done,” she said. “I just want them to know that I’m here, personable and approachable, and I want them to know they can talk to me anytime. I‘m just trying to be a good teacher and pass along the experiences I’ve had.”
Stands Over Bull described the gathering as “probably the biggest fashion event to hit our area” and joked that the red carpet entrances had him thinking he was at a film premiere in Hollywood. It might not have been the most natural fit for the humble Ward—who describes himself as “just a regular guy” who grew up farming on the reservation while doing other jobs like road construction to supplement his income—but the show kept a distinct Montana feel. The first item raffled off was a rifle—a nod to Ward’s pro-Second Amendment stance.
Various speakers expressed their support for Ward, and an America’s Next Top Model episode featuring Watchman was shown. Along with Ward, another star of the evening was 23-year-old designer Yellowtail, who grew up in Wyola, on the Crow Reservation. She has worked for BCBG Max Azria and is headed to the design team for Baby Phat, and recently debuted her designs at the March 1 Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas. Most of Yellowtail’s comments were reserved for praising her colleagues, however.
“We’re lucky to have Mariah and ‘Thosh’ Collins here,” Yellowtail said. “They’re movers and shakers in Indian country, and especially in the modeling industry where it’s so hard to break out. Mariah Watchman is going to be one of the most iconic women in pop culture and Indian country. She’s always about representing Indian country.”
Native models showed off Yellowtail’s dress designs to much
applause, with Watchman herself modeling the last one. In
closing, both Collins and Watchman gave brief speeches in
their Native tongues thanking the events organizers.
Village © Gina Boltz
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