Magan Basque, a 24-year-old woman from Eskasoni First Nation made history when she was crowned the winner of the 2023 Miss Canada United World Pageant, the first Indigenous contestant to claim the title. Now she’s preparing to hit the runway for the 2023 New York Fashion Week. “All the work I put in, the time and money I’m spending for the pageants, it’s all paying off now.”CONTRIBUTED/MAGIC DREAMS PRODUCTIONS

ESKASONI — Magan Basque is no stranger to having dreams come true

The 24-year-old from Eskasoni made history when she was crowned winner of the 2023 Miss Canada United World Pageant, the first Indigenous contestant to claim the title. Now, she’s getting ready to cross another milestone off her to-do list of dreams as she prepares to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week (NYFW.)

It’s an opportunity Basque says was given to her by a fellow Miss United winner.

“When I was competing in Miss United Texas, one of the women who had won would have been Miss United World. She is a designer and aware of other designers as well. She reached out and asked if I wanted to be a model for her,” Basque said. “All the work I put in, the time and money I’m spending for the pageants, it’s all paying off now.”

New York Fashion Week is a major fashion event held twice a year in New York City. It showcases upcoming collections from top designers for the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons. Basque says it was a childhood dream to model at NYFW.

“I’ve always wanted to model since I was a teenager or maybe even younger. I was always very interested in that type of work,” she said. “Everyone who wants to become a model knows New York Fashion Week is one of the biggest fashion shows. It’s something you always dream of doing.”


Growing up in Eskasoni, Basque didn’t have a pageant or modelling role model to look up to, no one to focus on or emulate. Basque says being a role model for future generations, showing them what is possible through determination, is a huge part of what pushes her.

“A lot of what I do is for the youth; I always wished I had someone to look up to who does things that I’m doing now, so being a role model to the youth means a lot to me, and I feel like everything that I’m doing is for them as well as my son,” she said. “Like everything, it takes time, dedication, passion, believing in yourself and putting the work in to succeed.”


Success wasn’t achieved entirely alone. Basque’s community of Eskasoni rallied around her Miss Canada United World win, cheering her on and holding a community celebration when she returned with the sash and crown. Basque says her community wasn’t alone in supporting her; she’s received global support from Indigenous fans worldwide.

“My community has been the best, and it’s not only my community; it’s everyone in the different reserves and the whole Indigenous community, like globally,” she said. “On my TikTok (@magankb_), there’s just so many Indigenous people that reach out to me or comment on my videos saying what tribe they are from.”


New York Fashion Week officially kicks off in February but Basque is getting a chance to share her runway skills in Cape Breton before she leaves. Basque has been invited to help train runway models for a local Indigenous fashion show in December. She says this opportunity feels like a full-circle moment.

“As I am approaching New York Fashion Week, I have an event coming up with Mi’kmaw Circle of Hope Society in Membertou; they’re hosting a fashion show of Indigenous designers. They asked me if I would show the models how to walk,” she said. “The building where we’re doing the workshop is the same building where I learned how to do my runway walk by former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull, so It’s kind of a full-circle moment.”

By Mitchell Ferguson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 22, 2023 at 09:20

This item reprinted with permission from   Cape Breton Post   Sydney, Nova Scotia
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