Seaman Junior becomes first indigenous National All-American Miss Jr. Teen

Seaman Junior, Madison Wabaunsee now holds a special title, making her the first indigenous queen in the National All-American Miss Pageant.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 3:56 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - For Seaman High School Junior, Madison Wabaunsee, runner-up has been an all too familiar title, going back to when she was eight years old, and now the 16-years-old, holds the title of National All-American Miss Jr. Teen, making her the first indigenous queen in the National American Miss Pageant.

“Growing up in school I would look around me and I never saw anyone that looked like me. So to be a Native American representative on a national platform level I can be able to showcase representation that I’ve always longed for throughout my entire life,” says Madison Wabaunsee.

But she says she couldn’t have done it without the help of her late father, James Wabaunsee who was a big guiding force in her pageant career.

In 2015, Madison’s father died from a stroke and heart attack, leaving Madison unsure if she could ever compete again.

“So a part of the competition is a formal wear competition where you have you and your pretty ballgown, as well as, your escort and that was always my dad. For the first couple of years when he was still alive he would escort me and my sister and, it meant the world to me because I could see how proud he was of us and see us putting ourselves out there and, so whenever he passed I really got down on myself and never really knew if I would recover from his loss,” Madison says.

But Madison says somehow she mustered the strength to carry on, watching her older sister compete in pageants and remembering her father’s support.

“I always tell myself that I am more than worthy enough. I have already proven this to myself and I‘m a very visionary person and I always think of my dad as holding my hand, or he’s always walking right beside me. So for this pageant, not only did I do it for him because I knew how proud he would be of my accomplishments and to see that I’m still competing and I got the title that I wanted,” she says.

Now Madison says her mission is to spread the word that representation matters.

“To let people know that you are not alone, there are people who look like you in this community and who have done great valuable things with their lives regardless of their skin color,” she says.