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Home > Happy Canyon > 2019 HAPPY CANYON PRINCESSES


The Happy Canyon Board of Directors is proud to announce Kaia John and Makayla “Kayla” Fossek as the 2019 Happy Canyon Princesses. They will serve as the 2019 ambassadors for the Happy Canyon Night Show, Oregon’s official outdoor night pageant.

“We are excited to have these two well-rounded, talented young women represent Happy Canyon this next year,” said Happy Canyon President Tanner Hawkins. “Their family roots run deep in Happy Canyon, so we’re honored to have them serve as our representatives throughout the region.”

Kaia John

John, whose Indian name is Xaamsalii (Hummingbird), is the daughter of Sydney and Robin John, and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). She is a graduate of Zillah High School in Toppenish, Wash., where she was a four-year Varsity athlete in basketball, track and field, and cross country. She made 10 appearances in the Washington State 1A tournament, and was a member of the state champion 4x400 relay team. John was also an active member in 4-H and the National Honor Society.

John currently attends Western Washington University, where she hopes her studies in health care will lead to a Master’s program to become a nurse practitioner. She enjoys helping others and believes becoming a nurse will allow her to bring health equity to Native Americans. She plans to work with under-served communities to help raise the bar for health care, as well as being a good role model for other Native American young women.

In 2018, John won the top honor at the American Indian Beauty Pageant at the Pendleton Round-Up. She and her family have a deep connection with Happy Canyon and the Round-Up dating back to her great-great-great grandfather Chief Jim Kanine. John’s family also has a great legacy of Happy Canyon princesses dating back to 1932 with her great-great grandmother Rosaline Kanine. This year’s reign will make John a fifth generation Happy Canyon Princess.

Kayla Fossek

Fossek is the daughter of Robert and Jennifer Fossek of Pendleton, and is a descendent of the CTUIR. She’s currently in her senior year at Pendleton High School, where she is very active, taking leadership roles within her FFA chapter as vice president this year and Sentinel last year.

Fossek plans to attend Blue Mountain Community College for two years before transferring to Eastern Oregon University to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She aspires to enter a veterinarian program to one day become a large animal vet. She hopes to continue to live in eastern Oregon and open her own vet clinic on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Fossek currently works after school and on weekends at Toni Minthorn’s horse ranch. Fossek owns eight horses and has trained four that have come off the Umatilla Indian Reservation. She enjoys anything that will get her outdoors.

Fossek’s family history with Happy Canyon royalty is vast, dating back to 1958. Her family also has a great legacy of American Indian Beauty Pageant winners dating back to 1931. This past year, Fossek served as a horse crew member for her cousin and Happy Canyon Princess Tayler Craig. Fossek participates in the Happy Canyon night show in the hunting party and war party scenes.

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