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20Q with Elizabeth Niiqsik Ferguson - Miss Arctic Circle/Miss WEIO

  • Author: Jamey Bradbury
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published December 21, 2015

Q: How would you spend your perfect day?

A: I'd start at my house and drink coffee with my dad, and then hop in a boat and go upriver, find a mountain. First, I'd picnic on the beach, then hike the mountain, have a cup of coffee at the top, then boat home.

Q: What's the last book you remember enjoying?

A: The Girl on the Train. I read it while traveling this summer, and finished it on a plane.

Q: What is your superpower?

A: It would be flying. I'm actually really scared of flying in planes, but if I could fly on my own, I'd save money, time and my own peace of mind.

Q: Favorite place to travel?

A: Minnesota. I actually lived there, but it's my favorite place.

Q: What life question are you still trying to answer?

A: I don't ask questions; I take things as they come.

Q: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

A: Judy Garland—she'd be fun to have dinner with. Her, Michelle Obama and my best friend.

Q: What did Michelle Obama say to you when you met?

A: She told me she was proud of me. She also wanted to hug everybody, which I think freaked out her security team.

Q: What do you do to unwind?

A: If I'm having a bad day, I go out and take a ride with my camera and just take pictures of anything.

Q: Favorite Kotzebue tradition?

A: Ice fishing. Where I live, we're surrounded by water. In the spring, there's half the community out there, and it feels like a huge get together.

Q: Favorite place to eat?

A: This restaurant in Kotzebue called Uutuku (which means small; if you could see the building you would understand why they named it that).

Q: What's the last concert you loved?

A: I've only been to one! Mariah Carey.

Q: Who do you go to for advice?

A: It depends on the nature of the advice. Generally my best friend.

Q: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

A: Just spending time with family.

Q: What do you collect?

A: I feel like I'm at the age where I'm going to start forgetting, so I've been collecting the name tags from all the events I go to. I have this box of them, with just my name written, over and over and over…

Q: Who are you named after?

A: My middle name, Niiqsik, is after my great grandma, Florence Harris.

Q: Do you count down the days until summer or winter?

A: Winter. I love snow machining around.

Q: What's your guilty pleasure?

A: Netflix.

Q: How do you decide what to wear?

A: I just grab what's there.

Q: What's your favorite food?

A: I love seal meat—just plain boiled, that's how we eat it.

Q: How did you feel when you were crowned Miss Arctic Circle?

A: It was reassuring because I doubt myself a lot. All these people were proud of me and saying I was doing amazing things—I thought, why can't I believe in myself? So when I got crowned, it was like, "Girl, believe in yourself!"

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of 61°North. Contact 61°North editor Jamie Gonzales at

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