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Kennedy Fridia

 

Fridia Finds Enjoyment in Fancy Shawl, Science and Basketball

by Kim Rogers

Wichita Tribal Member and Guest Correspondent

(from November 2017 edition of Wichita Tribal News)

Kennedy Fridia

For Kennedy Grace Fridia, 11, dancing in powwows is a family affair and something she loves to do.

"It makes me feel good because I get to be surrounded by other Natives who care about Native culture. It's really fun because I get to see relatives that I don't get to see very often," she said.

Fridia started dancing when she was around six years old when her grandma encouraged her to participate. Sometimes she dances in traditional cloth, but her favorite category is fancy shawl, where she gets to move around a lot and enjoys going at a faster pace. It's also her favorite women's category to watch.

"I like their moves and how they flow freely," Fridia said.

Wichita culture is important to Fridia, who learned it from her mom and grandma. She's also taken language classes. Her family originates from the Waco band. In addition, she is of Kiowa and Caddo descent and adopted by the Oglala Sioux Oyate.

She is the daughter of Army Captain Brandon Fridia and Tasha Fridia. She has an older sister, Isabella Fridia, who is the current Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma City. Fridia is the granddaughter of Suzanne Wise and the great-granddaughter of the late Frances Wise. Her great-great-grandmother is the late Berdina Holder.

School is also important to Fridia. She is currently in the sixth grade at Oakridge Elementary in Moore, Okla., where she is in the Gifted and Talented program. Science is her favorite subject, where she conducts fun experiments such as the shrinking of gummy bears.

When she's not in powwows or focusing on her studies, Fridia spends much of her free time cooking her favorite foods like fry bread and corn, collecting rocks in her backyard and playing basketball with her friends on the Defenders traveling team.

During this school year, Fridia ran for student council president, making the run-off in the election. Even though she did not win president, she did not let it deter her. Instead, she ran for sixth grade representative and won.

When Fridia grows up, she wants to become a professional basketball player or elementary school teacher.

--Rogers works as a freelance writer and lives with her family in Edmond, Okla. One of her specicalties is in children's literature.