Ksim Nisga’a youth Shaina Stephens will take on the Miss Teen Canada Globe pageant this August.

Nisga’a teen bound for national beauty pageant

Shaina Stephens will travel to Toronto for the Miss Teen Canada Globe pageant after an appearance in the Riverboat Days parade.

She’s already a national finalist for an upcoming national teen beauty pageant and 15-year-old Shaina Stephens is determined to make her home community proud.

The Ksim Nisga’a youth will take on the Miss Teen Canada Globe pageant this August with the hope of making it to the level of international competition.

Stephens grew up in Laxgalts’ap in the Nass Valley and says it was a ‘why not’ moment that prompted her to apply to the pageant producers.

Now she is planning to take a message about cultural appropriation to the Canada-wide event.

“Cultural appropriation, it’s not perceived as the biggest problem, it seems almost silly to see it so seriously,” said Stephens.

“But when you look into the psychological aspect and the subconscious stereotypes it creates, it has very harmful effects.”

Her delegate platform is built upon a petition she started aiming to rid Canadian shelves of so-called ‘Native American’ costumes.

“It continues to sexualize Native American women, the way that Hollywood has been doing for years. And it also makes our people seem like we are fragments of history,” she said.

That’s something Stephens wants to see change and she said that starting small is one of the best ways to facilitate a shift in attitude.

“Those subconscious barriers and negative stereotypes will slowly deplete and the bigger changes won’t seem so drastic anymore,” she explained.

Stephens’ pageant experience also started small.

At the age of eight, she won the title of Snow Queen in her village pageant, but now she has her sights set on a much bigger goal in Toronto when the Miss Teen Canada Globe kicks off on August 3.

The competition starts with four long days of regional competition and training, she noted.

“We compete for our regional titles, and if I rank high, I’ll get Miss BC, if I rank low I’ll get Miss Northern BC – the higher you rank the more area you cover,” she said.

They’ll also practice their pageant walks, make-up skills and talents.

Then, the contestants move on to nationals and the real show begins.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, especially with the appearances during nationals,” Stephens remarked. “Nationals has different appearances, [we’ll go] to Canada’s Wonderland for an appearance.

“If they don’t let me ride any roller coasters, I’ll be very upset,” she laughed.

Stephens will also compete to be one of the top 10 talent performers in order to be featured in the final ceremony in front of the judges.

And she hinted that it is no secret what her talent will be.

“Recently, I was given my Nisga’a name. It’s Hlgu Limx Gibuu – which means ‘Little Singing Wolf’ – so you can probably guess my talent,” she said.

Stephens will be largely paying her own way to the pageant. Her village government sponsored her initial application fee and now she is looking for sponsors to help her cover travel, accommodations and clothing.

Each contestant needs to have a certain number of outfits in particular colours, she explained.

Stephens also would like to bring her mom to the competition as parents do the crowning at the end of the regional competition.

In an effort to raise awareness about what she is doing, Stephens has been busy making appearances at events across the northwest.

In addition to attending Salmon Fest in Prince Rupert and the Aboriginal Day festivities near her home, Stephens will have a float in this year’s Riverboat Days parade.

“It is worth it to make appearances, get the word out about what I’m doing and where I’m from,” she said.

The pageant also has a live-voting component where online votes can promote the Peoples Choice winner straight to semi-finals.

Looking ahead to the competition, Stephens mentioned she is most looking forward to the experience.

“Even if I don’t place, it will be worth it,” she said.

You can contact Stephens through her Facebook page Shaina Stephens for Miss Teen Canada Globe 2016.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

City hall, RCMP getting complaints about lack of physical distancing

So far, there’s no public health order to enforce the safety measure

As 300K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read