Emma Morrison — a Chapleau Cree First Nation — is now the first indigenous young woman ever to win the title of Miss Teenage Canada. And it was only her second time competing in a pageant.
This past May, Morrison won her first pageant and was crowned Miss North Ontario. She fell into the competition after the pageant director had found her and sent her a message on Facebook.
I am still in so much shock because last night was a night I will remember for the rest of my life. I would like to thank my pageant coach Natalie Carrier for helping me along the way and for being there for me when I needed motivational pep talks, she believed in me and gave me confidence to rock the stage!💜 Next I would like to say thank you to my family... my auntie, brother, grandparents, my cousins (you know who you are😉🤗) my amazing boyfriend Alex and my parents, you guys are my rock and I couldn't thank you more enough.❤ Lastly, I would like to thank Cheryl Kozora. She is the women who seen potential in me and got me started in this industry, thank you hso much Cheryl for everything, if it wasn't for you I would not be standing in this position.💕💕💕 Overall, I also wanted to thank everyone who believed in me. I was so proud and honoured to have walked in representing northern Ontario because I knew how much support I was given!❤ I am proud to say that I walked away with the title of Miss Teenage Canada last night and I will make everyone proud!!!!!💕💜 xo
She used her winnings from that pageant to enter Miss Teenage Canada, in which more than 50 participants compete from around the country.
The 17-year-old said it felt pretty surreal to win such a big title, having come from such a small community of people.
“Now this little, small town girl has accomplished such a big task,” Morrison told CBC News, “And it makes me so happy.”
During the pageant, the indigenous teen focused on self-acceptance and self-love. And now that she’s won, Morrison says that she feels like she has a voice.
"I want to stand up for all Canadians, regardless of gender, race, personal identity or preferences," she said.
Chapleau is a township in Northern Ontario with a population of less than 2,000 people. The area is home to three First Nation Communities: Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation.
"It shows that no matter where you come from, you can set your goals high and big and work hard, and you will succeed,” Morrison said.