Miss Indian Arizona announced in Chandler, former Miss Gila River will be second attendant
Gila River Indian News
Six young women were vying for the title of 2019-2020 Miss Indian Arizona, to represent the state’s twenty-two tribes. The 58th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Pageant took place on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. The pageants theme was “Guardians of Tradition in a Changing World.”
The six contestants included former Miss Gila River 2018-2019, Autumn Cooper, Kiara Goseyun (San Carlos Apache Tribe), Teya Johnson (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community), Audriana Mitchell (Colorado River Indian Tribes), Ki-Ana Reina (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community), and Amy Spotted Wolf (Tohono O’odham Nation). Contestants were judged on their modern recrections, talent showcase, and traditional recreations/oral presentations.
This year’s program was dedicated to two former Miss Indian Arizona title holders, Marie Ann Nelson Scott, Miss Indian Arizona 1965-1966, and Karla Jean Starr, Miss Indian Arizona 1991-1992, both from the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
“This reign not only symbolized my growth as an individual but my growth that I have done being Miss Indian Arizona,” said Niagara Rockbridge, 2018-2019 Miss Indian Arizona, during her farewell speech.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis served as an escort for Cooper, who was named second attendant to Miss Indian Arizona. Cooper’s platform is to pro- mote self-identity through self-love.
Spotted Wolf (TON) was named first attendant, her platform is to encourage others to pursue higher education and have “indigenized spaces that Native Americans are typically not a part of.” She currently attends the University of Arizona, pursuing her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education.
Mitchell (CRIT) was named Miss Indian Arizona 2019-2020. Mitchell’s personal goal is to be an ambassador for Native youth, working with them and showing them the many ways they can help their communities. “I am very, very, very thankful,” said Mitchell during her acceptance speech, “We are so glad to be representing all of you. The tribes that we come from, our families, and that land in which we come from.” Mitchell is currently attending Mesa Community College pursuing a major in Communications.