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The Happy Canyon Board of Directors is proud to announce átis Nowland and Susie Blackwolf Patrick as the 2023 Happy Canyon Princesses. They will serve as the 2023 ambassadors for the Happy Canyon Night Show, Oregon’s official outdoor night pageant.

“We are so excited to have these two wonderful local young women represent Happy Canyon in 2023,” said Happy Canyon President Kenzie Hansell. “Their family involvement in Happy Canyon spans generations, so we’re honored to have them serve as our representatives this next year.”

Princess L`aatis Nowland

L`aatis Nowland, whose Indian name is We’npléhnene (Nez Perce), is a 19-year-old enrolled member of the CTUIR and a 2021 graduate of Nixyaawii Community School. Her parents are Jess Nowland and Trinette Minthorn-Nowland. Látis’s grandparents are Dale Nowland and Maria Montoya, and Armand Minthorn and Teresa Parker. Her great-grandparents are Dewan and JoAnn Nowland, Ravi Montoya and Yvonne “Bunny” Scott, and the late Philip Minthorn Sr. and Loretta Pinkham Alexander, and the late James Parker and Ethel “Tessie” Williams. Látis currently works for The Saddle Restaurant, and following her time as a Happy Canyon Princess plans to enlist in the Oregon National Guard and potentially the United States Marine Corps. She also has plans to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, to study printmaking.

Participation in Happy Canyon is a family affair for Látis; she has been in the night show since she was a baby, carried by her mother on the baby board. Her grandfather, Armand Minthorn, and mother, Trinette, have been narrators of the Native American portion of the show for more than 15 years. Látis’s father, Jess, is the speaker during the Native American dancing portion of each performance of the Pendleton Round-Up. Her great-grandmother Tessie Williams served as Happy Canyon chaperone, following her cousin the late Mary Hines. Tessie was also a former Grand Marshall of the Westward Ho Parade and an inductee into the Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Tessie hosted Round-Up and Happy Canyon royalty at an appreciation dinner at the family camp in the Round Up Indian Village.

Látis will join several other family members who have also served as Happy Canyon princesses, including her great aunt Nancy Minthorn, Michelle Spencer, Talia Minthorn, Judy Hines, Buffy Hines, Carina Vasquez-Minthorn, Anna Minthorn and Jacy Sohappy.

Látis’s interests include participating in the CTUIR Tribal Youth Council, serving as both secretary and vice-chair. She also enjoys singing and drumming, attending Pow Wows and drum groups, and learning her native language.

Princess Susie Blackwolf Patrick

Susie, whose Indian name is Walptithla Kákiya (Singing Bird), is a 20-year-old enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and 2020 graduate of Nixya’awii Community School. Her parents are Julia Johnson and Toby Patrick, and her grandparents are Marvin “Wish” Patrick and Suevina Patrick, and John Bevis and Katie Blackwolf-Bevis. Her great-grandparents are Ike and Ada Patrick and Susie and Mac Labert, as well as Elery and Julia Wolfe and Tommy and Elery Lelock. Susie works in the pharmacy at Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center, and is considering her school choice options after she completes her year as Happy Canyon Princess, including the University of Idaho. She has a desire to explore Native American modeling in hopes of traveling the world to represent her people and her culture.

Susie follows in the footsteps of her Aunt Ada May Patrick, who was a Happy Canyon Princess in 1981. Susie has been a Happy Canyon participant for many years, including the Wedding scene and Vanishing scene. Her family has participated in Happy Canyon and Pendleton Round-Up events for generations. Susie’s grandfather, Marvin “Wish” Patrick, was in a drum group – Howt-me – that was one of the first at the Roy Raley Park dancing event.

Susie’s interests revolve around her native culture, with a love of first foods, singing, and being with family and friends. She regularly attends and cooks at local celebrations and continues to study her native language.
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