"A powwow princess is someone who represents their community with honour, with pride, with dignity." - Winona Pratt

A lot of little girls dream of becoming a princess, but for Winona Pratt, that dream became a reality. Pratt, a member of the Cote First Nation, is the reigning Miss First Nations University of Canada Powwow Princess.

Last spring, she was crowned at the annual First Nations University of Canada spring powwow and has spent the year travelling the powwow circuit, dancing and representing her school. She said winning the title was an emotional experience, "I never thought I'd cry tears of joy. I felt amazing."

As powwow princess, Pratt acted as an ambassador for First Nations University and travelled to all 15 powwows in Saskatchewan plus two in the United States, dancing and participating in Grand Entry.

It's not a responsibility she takes lightly. "A powwow princess is someone who represents their community with honour, with pride, with dignity. It's someone who goes out there and represents our culture."

Pratt said powwow princesses are held to a high level, acting as role models. Pratt said since elementary school she has always looked at other princesses as role models. She pointed to the current Miss Universe, the first ever First Nations woman to hold that title, as someone who has inspired her. She says ever since she won the title younger women have looked to her for guidance and support.

"I loved every moment of it. I loved connecting with elders, with veterans, developing friendships and meeting new people. I loved being in Grand Entry and waving to everyone and seeing everyone, they are like my big powwow family."She admitted it will be hard to hand over her title.

Pratt was raised by two parents who both served as police officers. She said she is passionate about justice and is currently working on completely a Bachelor of Justice Studies with plans of studying law.

"I really have a passion for seeking justice for the First Nations community. I think it's good there is First Nations people in this field, lawyers and police officers, to break some of the barriers between our two cultures."

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