NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
El Salvador is a long way from her home in Natuashish, but Chenille Rich is embracing the opportunity to travel to Central America in February to represent Canada at the Miss Indigenous of the World 2019 Pageant.
The 15-year-old is no stranger to pageantry.
In August 2017 she competed in the Miss Canada Globe Productions Pageant (teen category) in Toronto.
Miss Canada Globe Productions is touted as the only pageant in Canada that sends not only their winners but also their runner-ups to compete internationally.
Chenille competed in the Miss Teen Petite Beauty International Pageant in the Dominican Republic in April (2018). She placed second-runner-up (second princess) in the Dominican Republic and is now excited about her trip to El Salvador.
Participating in pageants under the Miss Canada Globe Productions banner has opened many doors for Chenille.
She will be modelling in New York in February prior to her trip to El Salvador.
Chenille said participating in international pageants is also an opportunity to meet teens from other countries.
“I learn a lot of other languages from all over the world... the girls teach me how to do things in the pageant and modelling,” she said.
A Grade 11 student at Mushuau Innu Natuashish School, Chenille has a keen interest in learning the traditions of her people.
“I like to go fishing and like helping my mom (Antonia Rich)... I learned a lot from my grandmother (Suzanne Rich) like cleaning a caribou hide and cleaning the porcupine,” she said.
Chenille’s father Gabe Rich is one of her biggest supporters.
“In our community they call (Chenille) Mushuau Innu Princess,” he said proudly.
Gabe said he’s grateful to all those in the community that support his daughter, including family and friends.
“And I’d like to thank Mushuau First Nations, Innu Development, Innu Nation and Recreation (Centre) in our community,” he said.
Chenille’s school has been supportive as well, he said, especially teacher Rob Tulk.
Gabe travels with his daughter and volunteered on a parent committee during the pageant in the Dominican Republic.
“They called me pageant dad,” he said. “I’m really proud of the Miss Canada Globe Productions for their efforts in representing my daughter.”
Chenille’s father will be holding several fundraisers to help cover some of the expenses associated with the trip to El Salvador.
Encourages other teens to participate
Chenille is encouraging other young girls to put their names forward as contestants in the national pageant.
“It’s not about the looks, it’s all about the experience,” she said.
Any teens who would like more information about registering for the national pageant can e-mail Chenille at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who would like to donate to help Chenille can do so by e-mailing her father at email@example.com