Treasured Adult Philanthropist 2023
As the 2022-2023 Miss Shoshone-Bannock Queen, Kaycee Dixey served as a role model for Native youth and an ambassador for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. True to her intrepid spirit, Kaycee exemplified every aspect of the role—and then went above and beyond.
Becky Martin, who works with Kaycee at the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel and nominated her for an Idaho Philanthropy Day Award, has witnessed again and again how Kaycee goes beyond what’s expected to serve her community and help Indigenous culture thrive. It was a no-brainer to nominate Kaycee for the Treasured Adult Philanthropist Award.
When an Indigenous environmental group from Brazil visited her community, Kaycee and her grandma shared Tribal history and insights with them. When a teacher from Jerome, Idaho, asked Kaycee to share some stories and history with her fourth-grade class because they were starting their Native American studies chapter, Kaycee Skyped into the class. She recently spoke to a doctoral-level Philosophy class at Idaho State University and shared insight on Indigenous perspectives in academia.
“Any requests from schools, Kaycee was there,” Becky shared.
Learning she’d won the Idaho Philanthropy Day award for Treasured Adult Philanthropist was a surprise to Kaycee because so much of what she does for her community is second nature to her.
“I was in shock, in disbelief,” Kaycee said. “Did I really win an award? It felt normal to me to do these types of things. It’s been instilled in me.”
Loved ones at home have played a crucial role in supporting Kaycee and encouraging her to pursue her dreams. “It’s been my grandmother who’s pushed me to keep going,” Kaycee said. “She was there for me when I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Family has been a key element.”
Going to schools around the state and being present at events on top of a full-time job isn’t easy, but Kaycee stays rooted in what inspired her in the first place.
“When I book events, I think about the kids who are looking forward to my presence. That’s what motivates me. It’s the kids and how excited they are to see me.”
Knowing what it’s like to be in her shoes, Kaycee has been providing support and guidance to the current Miss Shoshone-Bannock, sharing what she learned and helping her on her journey.
What advice does Kaycee have for others who want to start volunteering?
“The first step is looking for something that gets you involved in the community—getting your name out there, introducing yourself to people,” Kaycee recommends. “Show that you care. Be willing to meet new people, get involved, and ask questions.”
Kaycee recommends that people “start researching and reach out to resources provided in our communities. That’s how I got started,” she said. “I was blessed and lucky to have a family that had those resources. What got me connected was going to the Tribal Language & Cultural Preservation Department.”
From her volunteer roles within the tribes to her work at the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, Kaycee continues to excel in every area of her life. As Becky said, “She’s an incredible representative for our tribes. There’s always that risk of our culture being lost.”
Not on Kaycee’s watch. Her reign as Queen may have ended, but Kaycee’s commitment to the tribes, her community spirit, and her passion for sharing Indigenous culture is alive and well.