El Reno hosted a first on Friday when Miss Indian World, Cheyenne Eete Susan Kippenberger visited.
Kippenberger, 23, is a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. She is the daughter of Joe and Susan Kippenberger and granddaughter of Lawanna Oceola, and her family is of the Panther Clan. Her Indian name Eete was bestowed upon her by her Grandma Lawanna.
Mayor Matt White, City Manager Jeremy Frazier and other city staff welcomed Kippenberger to El Reno. She was escorted by Cheyenne and Arapaho officials and planned to attend powwow ceremonies held over the weekend at Concho as well as meeting C&A Gov. Reggie Wassana.
White presented Kippenberger with a key to the city and read a proclamation in her honor. White had Kippenberger laughing as he told her with the key and a crowbar, she could get into any building in town.
Kippenberger said she was delighted to be in El Reno.
Her goal as Miss Indian World is to “look for ways” to support her community as well as sustain her Seminole culture.
Kippenberger is chairwoman of “Healing the Circle in Our Tribal Communities Symposium” of the Native Learning Center organization. White told her she is a great example of “grace and dignity” and provides a “model of inspiration” for other young girls and women.
Kippenberger earned an associate degree in accounting from Keiser University and plans to continue her education by pursuing an additional degree in political science.
She is a former Miss Florida Seminole and is the first Seminole woman to hold the title of Miss Indian World in the program’s 36-year history.