Gila River Royalty 2019-2020 bids farewell in District 5 among family and friends
Gila River Indian News
For the past year, Tyler Owens and Susanna Osife served as the Community’s Miss and Jr. Miss Gila River Royalty. They celebrated this time at their farewell banquet Friday, Feb. 28, at the District 5 Service Center. Both Owens and Osife served their roles with great enthusiasm and integrity and shared their experiences amongst family, Community members, and visiting tribal royalty at the banquet.
Lt. Gov. Robert Stone was in attendance to share parting words for the outgoing royalty. Lt. Gov Stone said, “Throughout your reign in the community with youth and elders, you both always showed respect, dignity, and gave from the heart with everything you did this year.”
Addressing everyone in attendance Owens said, “I thank you all so much, I hope that I represented you all to the best of my ability, and I hope that what Susanna and I did this year was enough for you all.” Understanding the weight of the role, Owens thanked everyone for the continuous support they provided.
“I really hope I represented our Community well and that I made an impact with you all,” said Osife. For Osife, she saw her reign as a chance to give back for youth and elders through her platform event this year. And she also recognized the growth in herself over the year. She thanked everyone for the conversations she had with them and the teachings she received from the Community throughout the year.
The duo maintained a strong relationship that was supportive of one another’s growth. Osife said, “One of my favorite things was being paired with Tyler; she’s been a great teacher, motivator, and inspiration for me.” Osife acknowledged Owens’ strength and appreciated her guidance during the time they shared.
Similarly, Owens shared, “Luckily, I met my match, because Susanna is equally as goofy as I am, loves to laugh, and I appreciate that because it brought a youthfulness for me.” Owens worked full time for years before returning to school and serving as Miss Gila River. Osife’s youth helped Owens connect with her “fun side” again.
The families of the two were seated throughout the gym and received great admiration and gratitude from both girls. With their unconditional love and support for the girls, they both knew they “couldn’t have done it without them.”
The evening marked the closing of the yearlong titles, both Owens and Osife shared stories filled with travels, parades, and as ambassadors for the Community. Both were active throughout the year, and one could easily spot them at the numerous Community events, tribal gatherings throughout the state, or at one of their bake sale fundraisers.
Rounding out the event, they shared photos and stories about the pictures before closing out the night with traditional O’otham Social Dances and a waila dance with music provided by Gertie N The T.O. Boyz.