Marley Johnson, 20, is the daughter of Micah Johnson and Julie Rowell of Portland. She is of Nez Perce, Cayuse and Walla Walla. She has attended Happy Canyon and the Pendleton Round-Up nearly all of her life, and began competing in Junior American Indian pageants at age 3. In 2019, Johnson took third place in the Senior American Indian Pageant, and has participated in the Happy Canyon Night Show several times. As a Happy Canyon Princess, Johnson will continue a family legacy, most recently passed down by her aunt Drew (Johnson) Rivera, who was a Happy Canyon Princess in 2000. Johnson is a descendant of Chief Joseph’s sister, Sarah. Her grandfather, William Johnson, was the first tribal member to pass the Oregon State Bar and has been Chief Judge at the CTUIR Tribal Court for over 30 years. Her paternal grandparents, Bill and Darcy Johnson, as well as her maternal grandparents, Gail and Robert Picard all reside on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and her grandfather, Charles Rowell of Pendleton, currently lives in Portland.
Johnson’s trappings belong to Sally Kosey, and her dress was beaded in 1999 by Mirna Strong for her aunt, Drew Johnson. Her purse, leggings, and cuffs were also beaded by Mirna Strong and gifted to her Aunt Vickie Johnson in 1997. The moccasins that Johnson will wear as a Happy Canyon Princess have been in the family for more than 100 years.
Johnson is a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Portland and is currently a sophomore at Mt. Hood Community College, where she plays both basketball and softball. Her goal is to complete an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree at MHCC and transfer to a university where she plans to continue to pursue athletics and a degree in journalism or communications field.
“I am proud and humbled to be selected as a 2022 Happy Canyon Princess,” Johnson said. “Being selected as a Happy Canyon Princess means so much to me. It allows me to act as a role model for youth and the honor to represent Oregon Natives, specifically my Indigenous urban community. I look forward to giving back to the community as well as gaining new experiences.”