Mississippi College

Tia Anderson Concludes Year as Choctaw Indian Princess

June 30, 2009

Her reign as the 2008-2009 Choctaw Indian Princess comes to an end July 8 for Mississippi College student Tia Faye Anderson.

That's the date for the Choctaw Indian Princess Pageant that opens the 60th annual Mississippi Choctaw Indian Fair. Fourteen contestants are seeking to replace Tia when the pageant begins at 7 p.m. She will hand over her title to her successor.

In recent days, Tia is traveling the Magnolia State to promote the Choctaw Indian Fair with stops planned for Meridian, Columbus, Greenville, Tupelo and other cities. Country music stars Marty Stuart and Connie Smith are booked for concerts at the fair that runs July 8-11 at the Choctaw Indian Reservation.

A Mississippi native, Stuart will belt out popular tunes like "Hillybilly Rock," while Smith will sing "How Great Thou Art" as they share the amphitheater stage Thursday evening July 9 with a show beginning at 7 p.m.

During her year's reign, Tia Faye Anderson has shown she's got star qualities, too. Tia is a 2008 honor graduate of Choctaw Central High where she served as Miss CCHS, Homecoming Queen and Beta Club president. At Baptist-affiliated MC in Clinton, she completed her freshman year and is pursuing a degree in pre-law. Passionate about education, Tia hopes to give back to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians after completing her MC degree.

"My goal is to be a positive leader, to help motivate children to get their education and be successful in life, so that we can work together as one," Tia says on the Indian tribe's web site. She is a member of the Spirit of Life Christian Center. Tia is the 18-year-old daughter of Ricky Anderson, Sr. from the Red Water Community and Faye (Bell) Anderson from the Pearl River Community. She served as a page for the Mississippi House of Representatives during the 2008 session at the Capitol.

As the Choctaw Indian Princess, she served with Tribal Miko (Chief) Beasley Denson as the official ambassador for the Choctaw tribe. Her year as princess was sponsored by Applied Geo Technologies , Inc.

Today, the Choctaw tribe's enrolled membership stands at more than 9,500 people. The Choctaw Indian Reservation headquartered near Philadelphia contains about 35,000 acres of tribal lands in ten Mississippi counties. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians remains the only federally recognized American Indian tribe in Mississippi.

The July festival spotlights the tribe's way of life and cultural art forms such as weaving baskets by hand from Mississippi swamp cane, sewing Choctaw clothing, cooking, stickball, and music. Tickets cost $10 for adult day passes and $5 for student day passes. Children five and under get in for free.

Tia is encouraging Mississippians and visitors to the state to "enjoy four fun-filled days of Choctaw spirit and culture." The 60th annual fair, she says "offers fun for young and old alike."

For more information about the fair, call 601.650.7450.

Photo: 2008-2009 Choctaw Indian Princess, Tia Faye Anderson

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