Canada’s First Indigenous Miss World Canada – Emma Morrison

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Emma Morrison is a member of Chapleau Cree First Nation, outside of Timmins, Ontario.  She grew up very connected to her culture and spent most of her time outdoors: hunting, fishing, and playing sports. In 2017, Morrison received a message via Facebook from a local pageant representative asking if she’d be willing to give pageantry a try and represent her town of Chapleau. She was skeptical but agreed and ultimately went on to be the first-ever Indigenous woman to win Miss World Canada in 2022.

Before competing in the Miss World Canada pageant, she competed in other pageants. and claimed the titles of Miss Northern Ontario and Miss Teenage Canada. There is a lot of hard work that comes with competing in pageants. They require a lot of training and dedication and are physically and mentally demanding on competitors. Even during vigorous training, Morrison always stays humble and grounded.  

In November 2022, Miss World Canada was held in Toronto, Ontario. When Morrison was crowned, she said it was a surreal experience. “I had a little piece of sage on me, I was having a little prayer backstage by myself amongst all the chaos. I remember thinking, ‘Okay creator, whatever you have in store for me, I surrender to that 100%,” she said.  When she got on stage, she was given an Indigenous issue question from the panel, and at that point, she felt it was truly meant to be. Morrison will never forget what it felt like to win and have her family cheering her on from the front row.

Morrison now has the privilege of visiting multiple Indigenous communities throughout Canada. She does motivational speeches and meets with community members promoting self-acceptance and gaining confidence. She joked that in every community she visits she always ends up with a “new cousin.” Even though she comes from a small town, she has worked hard for her accomplishments and is a good example for young people that anything can happen if you set your mind to it.

Morrison will be going on to compete in the 72nd Miss World Festival in December 2024. She said, “I’m really looking forward to this because, in 72 years, there has never been an Indigenous Canadian woman representing Canada.” One thing she is looking forward to about Miss World is that the festival holds a “Dancing of the World” category, where delegates can showcase a dance from their culture. Morrison plans on dancing in Fancy Shawl Regalia. There is a “Beauty with a Purpose” portion of the festival as well where delegates have a project developed in their communities that provides change and hope. Her project is “Reconnecting through Ribbon Skirts” where she creates ribbon skirts for Indigenous women and two-spirit people, so they can feel connected to their culture.

During her trip to Listuguj, she visited several places and met with many community members. She spent a lot of time with our youth visiting Alaqsite’w Gitpu School, the Outdoor Kindergarten class, and Sugarloaf Senior High School in Campbellton. She attended Eel River Bar’s Annual Pride Celebration. She went salmon fishing, attended a belt-making workshop with Jamie Metallic, and was taken around the community to see the beautiful sights. Morrison stated she thoroughly enjoyed her time in the community. She also experienced salmon fishing using a net for the first time, as opposed to using a fishing rod that she is normally used to. “The people have been so welcoming. Everyone has been so kind, and they have gone out of their way to make me feel so welcome in the community. The kindness is beaming from Listuguj. I’ll be back!” she said.

You can find Emma Morrison on Facebook or Instagram, where she posts regular updates about her travels, her pageantry, and her positive outlook on life.

By Ann Marie Jacques

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