Miss Gila River Crowned Miss Indian Arizona 2021-2022
Gila River Indian News
Miss Gila River Alyse Marrietta has a new title: Miss Indian Arizona. Marrietta, 25, represented the Gila River Indian Community in the 60th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program on Oct. 9, at the Chandler Center for the Arts. She was crowned by the outgoing Miss Indian Arizona Amy Spotted Wolf after an impressive performance to capture the title.
Marrietta was overjoyed following her win. “This is truly unbelievable. I’m so grateful to have this experience with some awesome young women,” said Marrietta. “I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and believed in me to get to this point.”
Other competitors for the title included SuNigh Louise Antone, 19, Tohono O’odham Nation, Lorraine Renee Cooley, 19, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Vanessa Sloan Lister, 25, Navajo Nation and Skehg’ Hiosik Amber Ariel Galindo, 24, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Marrietta will go from representing the Community to all 22 Native tribes while continuing to serve as a role model for American Indian youth. She was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, a Chromebook, Miss Indian Arizona pendant, luggage and other gifts. Marrietta also won the Essay Award, which includes a $300 scholarship.
Skehg’ Hiosik Galindo, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was awarded Miss Indian Arizona First Attendant. She received a $2,500 scholarship and gifts.
Lorraine Cooley, San Carlos Apache Tribe was awarded Miss Indian Arizona Second Attendant, and received a $2,000 scholarship and gift basket.
Judges assessed each contestant on attire such as evening wear and traditional attire, traditional or modern talent, and an essay on the theme “Native Women Forging a New Path.” Each of the contestants received a $200 participants award.
Marrietta presented the evolution of storytelling and the O’otham himdag for her talent. She discussed a 1939 film titled “An Indian Bible,” which follows a grandfather showing his grandson Hohokam petroglyphs.
“This film also attempts to explain different aspects of our O’otham culture but does so in a harmful way because the information presented is false and told through a colonial lens,” said Marrietta during the presentation.
“It’s time for us as Indigenous people to claim this visual storytelling tool as our own to rewrite and vocalize our peoples’ real voices,” said Marrietta, who works as a Media Editor for the Gila River Broadcasting Corp. She graduated Magma Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in 2019.
“I am committed to working with our elders and cultural leaders to revitalize, protect and preserve our O’otham himdag through media,” she explained.
To commemorate the special event, former titleholders were celebrated and featured through video messages. The event permitted judges and two guests for each participant. It was livestreamed for the public by the Chandler Center for the Arts website and is now available to watch through missindianarizona.com
Victoria Quintero, Gila River Indian Community member and Miss Indian Arizona 2000-2001, hosted the pageant. Along with Quintero, Marrietta joins Pamela Thompson and Daryl Lynn Jay as Miss Indian Arizona winners from the GRIC.
Vanessa Lister won the Miss Congeniality Award, which includes a $100 scholarship; Talent Award, which includes a $300 scholarship; and the Oral Presentation Award and a $300 scholarship. Lorraine Cooley won the Community Service Award, which includes a $300 scholarship. Skehg’ Hiosik Galindo took home the Evening Gown Award and a $300 scholarship.