By Adrian Jawort
Yes. When I went to my very first casting, my very first goal right off the bat was to let them know, ‘I want to be the first Native American female to compete in America’s Next Top model.’ I went in there and told them how I spoke my language, how I grew up on reservations, I bead, I fish salmon with my family off of the Colombia River, how we go to pow wows, and at our grandpa’s is our sweat lodge. But being the first Native on the show, I felt like I had a huge pressure. I wasn’t just representing myself, I was representing a Nation. I was representing Indian country. I’ve been an international model for five years, and I wasn’t just trying to go on tv and act disrespectful, and tarnish or ruin my reputation. I definitely felt a lot of pressure to maintain and be well-behaved.
I’m very business savvy, and I’d like to be a business owner with my t-shirt line. But about being the first Native American supermodel, when I got eliminated on the second episode of Top Model, when I was walking away, Tyra told me, “You may not be America’s Top Model, but you can be the first Native American supermodel ever.” She knew that was my goal and dream as well. And if Tyra Banks told me I can be the first Native American supermodel ever, I took that and believed in myself with all confidence I will achieve that goal.
For more on the subject, see Umatilla Model Supports Crow Candidate and Watchman Exits America's Next Top Model.