Standing outside the speedway, in front of a sign for one of my sponsors, the Brantford Best Western!

On the May 15th, the 20th season for the Ohsweken Speedway kicked off. I had the honour of attending as Miss Teenage Six Nations, and I have to say, it was an awesome experience. It’s honestly embarrassing to say after living less than a kilometer from the speedway for 13 years, that was the first time I was there for the races. I mean, every Friday night I spent at home during the summer I could hear the community-famous “Friday Night Thunder”, but I had not once been actually present for the thunder. At first, I was extremely confused as to what was actually happening. What’s a heat? What’s a feature? Why are all the cars different? Why are those ones louder than those ones? I can’t imagine the bother I must have been to my dad, asking all those questions.

Before the races, I spent time at the front greeting people and selling raffle tickets for my fundraiser (thanks to everyone who bought a ticket!), with the help of my mom,

Throwing the first green flag of the season!

dad and stepmom. They were all such an amazing help, and I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me so far and what they are yet to do so I can go to nationals. After that, it was almost time for the races to kick off. The national anthem played, and they introduced me. Then I got to go on the track and have the opportunity to introduce myself, and the announcer asked me how I got into pageants, specifically this one. I explained how being Miss Teenage Canada has been a long dream of mine, and something I have been working towards since I was 10. After that, the drivers began to warm up, and it was one of the loudest things I’ve ever heard, next to a Justin Bieber concert. At least at a concert, your ears go a bit numb so the screaming isn’t as deafening! The races hadn’t even started, but my eardrums were already bursting! Thankfully, my step-mom had earplugs in her purse, so that helped a lot.

Standing with the winner of the first feature of the season.

After the drivers were finished warming up, it was time for the races to begin. I was called up to the flag stand, and prepared to throw the first flag of the season. I was extremely nervous something would happen, or I’d wave it at the wrong time, so I kept asking the flag waver when to throw it. Thankfully, I did everything at the right time and it wasn’t a huge blunder like I was scared it would be.

After that, I got to relax and watch the races. Before that, it never seemed like something I’d be interested in, but it was super fun and entertaining, my mom and I agree that we have to go again sometime. Overall, it was a great night, and I look forward to going back!

Thank you for reading!

Aleria :)

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At the main stage, before the opening ceremonies.

On May 3rd, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the 2015 Stedman Community Hospice’s Hike for Hospice. It was an eye-opening, well run, fun event that consisted of a 1 mile hike around the block where the hospice is and lots of mingling, food and kiddie train rides!

There were a ton of people there, and it was astonishing to see how many people are

Hike For Hospice T-Shirt, the small blue print on the butterfly are the names as described.

affected by the generosity of the general public and their fundraising for this hospice. On each t-shirt given out, there was a blue and white butterfly across the front. At first glance, the blue looks like simple lines (especially if you’re far sighted like me), but as you look closer, you see that the lines are writing, but not just any writing. They’re all names of people who have passed away in the hospice in the 2014 alone. Multiply all those names by the average number of family members affected in their passings, you would have over 1000. Thanks to the annual Hike for Hospice, and the donations of the public, these families are only encouraged to give what they can.

It was an amazing experience, and I plan on attending next year as well!!

Stay classy,

Aleria

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I’ve never really been “fit”. I have always been thin, skinny, if you will, but never fit. I get winded going up the five flights of stairs at my school, I can’t do a push up and if I am being totally honest, I have always hated physical exertion. I do, however, love sitting on the couch eating cereal and watching Netflix, but really, did that ever accomplish anything? (Sorry Netflix lovers, but it’s time to face the truth.)

I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. I also want to look really awesome in a bikini. So, in preparation for nationals (and for myself), I have started working out. It’s killer for me, a self-proclaimed couch potato, to have to get up off my butt, put down my book or cell phone or laptop and actually sweat. But then again, I don’t sweat, I sparkle.

Cassey Ho, and the reigning Miss Teen USA

So I have started pilates. Before, I would hear the word pilates and think of sweaty yoga. After subscribing to the very popular YouTube channel, Blogilates, I can say I am a changed person. I love pilates and I love seeing my abs coming out from their long slumber. It kills, and sometimes I have to drag myself to my yoga mat, and I have a habit of putting it off (like right now for example. I am writing this instead of doing my daily videos religiously as I should be), but I do find it very fun.

The creator of Blogilates is the one and only Cassey Ho, and I love the fact that she got her start in exercise and fitness by doing (and winning) a pageant herself. Even more cool, the current Miss Teen USA, K. Lee Graham, is an avid follower of Cassey too! In preparation for the Miss Teen USA pageant, she trained with Blogilates too, and ended up winning the national title! Hopefully all this hard work will pay off and I’ll follow in their footsteps, haha.

Anyways. I better get to my mat, I can hear it calling out to me.

xoxo,

Aleria :)

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I have a voice.

You have a voice.

We all have a voice. In our lives, we make the decision on what we will do with our voices. We can choose to bring someone down and we can choose to raise someone up. We can sing a song, we can gossip with friends, we can ask for help, we can give advice, we can say how we feel, we can complain about someone we *strongly dislike* (everyone does it, don’t try to lie), we can start a revolution, we can change the world.

The voice is a powerful thing. We all have one, but how we use it is what makes our impact worthwhile.

This is my voice, and I am going to use it to help empower other youth to use theirs as well, and stand up for what they believe in and make a difference with what they want to see changed in the world today.

I am a women’s rights as well as a LGBTQI rights activist. These are issues that are close to my heart and are things I am passionate about. I may never win a nobel peace prize, be an ambassador for the modern women’s rights movement, or even simply make a difference that is recognized by people outside of my own community. But that’s okay. Throughout my life I have been taught that even a small thing can make a world of difference, no matter if it’s only going to impact one person. For that one person, you have the potential to impact their entire world.

So I have a challenge for you. For my Facebook likers (if you aren’t one, like my page here), everyday this week, consciously use your voice to make a positive impact in someone’s life, no matter how small. Even a simple “Have a good day” to your cashier at the grocery store, or genuinely asking how someone how they are feeling, or telling a loved one how much you are thankful for them.

This is how I’m using my voice, how will you use yours?

 

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I am a cisgender, heterosexual woman. I have the privilege of using the bathroom I identify with, without having to worry about harassment or judgement. If I commit a crime and find myself being incarcerated, I won’t have to worry about being in a men’s prison. I have never had to convince my mother that I am, in fact, a woman. When people see me, they know that I am a girl and do not assume that I was born otherwise.

I have cisgender privilege. Cisgender, as defined by Oxford University Press Dictionaries is:

Denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex; not transgender.

I have never had to worry about getting bullied in school because of my gender identity. I have not been spat on because of my gender identity. I have not been kicked because of my gender identity, I have not been beaten because of my gender identity and I have not been murdered because of my gender identity.

I consider myself to be an ally to the LGBTQI community. I feel especially connected to the trans community in particular. Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to hear the

Laverne Cox, riding as the grand marshall at the 2014 NYC Pride Parade

gorgeous and talented Laverne Cox speak at Mohawk College in Hamilton, and it was an eye opening and life changing experience. Before that, I had considered myself to be an ally, taking the time to educate myself on issues related to the LGBTQI community. After hearing Laverne speak, I realized that being an ally should not just consist of being educated and supportive, but also using my cis privilege to raise awareness, and become active in trying to improve the rights and lives of trans people. This is why I plan on using my title as Miss Teenage Six Nations, to raise awareness to the struggles trans people face in everyday life, things that I as a cis person take for granted, like using the womens bathroom without harassment, and not being told that I am lying about my gender when I check off “female” on a form or questionnaire.

In 2014, I traveled to New York City for a few days during the summer, and one day happened to to be the annual Pride Parade. It was an amazing, hot, sweaty, fun-filled 5

At the NYC Pride Parade with my cousins!

hours of screaming, chanting, flag waving and selfie-taking. Afterwards, I had awful tan lines and a mountain of freebies. But it wasn’t just about the free stuff and awesome floats. While watching the parade go by, I realized that for the people in this parade, it was more than simply a parade. It was a place where their sexuality and gender and gender expression is accepted and celebrated. In a society where straight is the norm, there aren’t many places where people can express themselves and their identity freely without being judged, let alone having it welcomed with open arms. These are people who grew up in a society that uses “gay” as an insult, uses their gender as a punchline, and murders over someones identity. It goes without saying that this is not an ideal society to grow up in as someone who identifies as anything other than heterosexual.

Creating a more accepting society is important to me. With my title, I hope to make it important to others too.

xoxo

Aleria

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Hello all! Welcome to my blog!

I am very blessed and thrilled to announce that I am your new Miss Teenage Six Nations 2015!

Olive watching Miss America being crowned

To say I am excited for the opportunity to participate in Miss Teenage Canada would be an understatement. Going to nationals is a literal dream come true for me. Since I was 11 years old, I have watched the winners get crowned, followed their journeys, rooted for my favourites as they went for the crown at nationals, and eagerly awaited for the day when it would be my turn to walk across that stage. It wouldn’t be wrong to compare me to Olive Hoover from Little Miss Sunshine, pretending to be the winner as she watches Miss America being crowned. This is a bit off topic, but Little Miss Sunshine also happens to be one of my all-time favourite movies.

Honestly, simply being able to participate in Miss Teenage Ontario was a huge accomplishment for me. I have been doing pageants for a few years now, but they’ve all been smaller local pageants. The main goal of all of those were to practice my public speaking skills, since it has always been hard for me to do things like that. I have dealt with generalized panic disorder and social anxiety almost my entire life, and I use performing as a way to cope with these.

Our competitive company being silly and taking selfies after the year end showcase

Dancing is one of the types of performance I use, and it has always been a huge part of my life. Simply being onstage has a tremendous positive effect on me. When I dance, I am never nervous from the fact that I’m in front of a crowd. It’s always exhilarating; it’s a feeling I savour. For me, dance is the moment I step onstage and the music begins. That’s what makes the hours put into perfecting a routine worth it.  This is why dancing is one of my main passions.

Well, I suppose this would be a good time for a proper introduction. My name is Aleria and I am 15 years old. As you already know, I love pageants and dancing. I also write short stories, and I enjoy theatre. Honestly, I love everything related to the arts. Music, singing, dancing, acting. Music is a big part of my life, and I love all styles. As I write this, White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes, my current favourite song is on repeat. I’m also a huge movie junkie, I love anything from horror to indie to romantic comedy and everything inbetween. If you give me an open schedule and a rainy day, I can spend hours

My friends and I, dressed up for Halloween!

on Netflix rewatching my favourite movies. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love staying busy and doing things with my friends. My friends are super important to me, and I love spending time with them. We love laughing together, and hang out whenever we can. Besides that, I’m very interested in astronomy. I love space and knowing that we are only a tiny part of a vast and infinite universe. This is why I plan to study astrophysics, so I can learn more about our universe and how it works.

I reside in the large, but close-knit community, Six Nations of the Grand River. We are the most highly populated reservation in Canada, with approximately 25 000 band members. I try my best to be connected to my culture, and it is something very close to my heart. On my mothers side, I am Haudenosaunee and Ojibway. On my fathers side, I am Cree and Dene. There are also small traces of Metis on both sides. My area hasn’t had a representative since 2011, so I am very honoured and proud to be representing my beautiful and supportive reserve on a national level. I look forward to what my future holds, stay tuned for more updates throughout my reign!

XOXO,

Aleria

Written by: Aleria
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