The evolution of beauty pageants: Miss World Eskimo Indian Olympics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When the World Eskimo Indian Olympics first began in 1961 the organizers wanted a woman representative to oversee the games. The surrounding villages were asked to send in their prettiest young women to vie for the title. Fifty years later the Olympic Games and the pageant contest have grown significantly. While the games have grown in size, attracting more competitors and drawing larger crowds each year, the pageant has grown in maturity. The original concept of a woman representative to oversee the games is still the same, yet the contest has been adapted. The beauty contest, in which the participants had to parade in a swimsuit and learned to walk like a lady, has now become a fully-fledged cultural ambassador program with a focus on leadership and community service. But how exactly has the contest evolved over the years? What do the young women do in their roles as cultural ambassadors? And how is that different from what the young women did as beauty pageant contestants? This article gives the history of the Miss World Eskimo Indian Olympics pageant, illustrating significant changes between the first ten years and the current contest. The conclusion suggests how the contest has become a venue to promote, sustain, and revitalize Indigenous cultures through youth leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the West
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this