Huesties’ Native name is X̣ix̣cíyu Hiʔlakáʔwin̓, which means Little Star Lit Up in Niimiipuu. She has called the Pendleton area her home for most of her life, and graduated from Weston-McEwen High School in 2015. Huesties is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology online through Ashworth College, and is a Sahaptin Language Apprentice with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Huesties enjoys music — she plays the guitar, piano, ukulele and violin — and enjoys traditional gathering of first foods and making regalia. Upon completion of her education, Huesties plans to help with the preservation of Native languages and eventually become a school psychologist.
Huesties is an enrolled member of the CTUIR, and is Cayuse, Nez Perce, Walla Walla, Umatilla, Palouse, Lakota Oglala Sioux and Winnebago. Her parents are Brian Huesties and the late Mylie Nash-Huesties. Her great-grandmother, Velma Patrick-Burke, headed the Happy Canyon tipi and Indian props maintenance and setup for more than 40 years. Huesties’ great-great-grandmother, Ada Jones-Patrick, wrote the Happy Canyon welcome speech that is given at the start of each show.
Huesties continues a long tradition of Happy Canyon royalty in her family. Her grandmother, Alvina Burke-Huesties, was a Happy Canyon princess in 1963, while her aunts, Esther Huesties and Althea Huesties-Wolf, followed in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Seven other family members have also been Happy Canyon princesses. Her great-great-great-grandfather “Poker” Jim led the Natives to and through the first Pendleton Round-Up in 1910.
“Becoming a Happy Canyon princess means I get to represent my family and our history, our people, and the Happy Canyon the best way I can,” she said. “I also get the chance to be someone my little cousins, nieces, and other impressionable young girls can look up to and feel inspired.”
Huesties has been a mainstay in the Happy Canyon show since birth, when she participated while on a baby board. She started her own part in 2002 at age 5 — her family used to carry in the corn and wood led by her grandmothers, but now they represent the bride’s family in the Wedding scene.