2020-2021 Miss Indian Arizona Court Bid Farewells After Two-Year Reign
Gila River Indian News
Miss Indian Arizona Amy Spotted Wolf (Tohono O’odham Nation) and First Attendant Autumn Cooper (Gila River Indian Community) bid goodbye to their time as pageant royalty on Oct. 9th, after serving on the MIA court for the past two years. Both women served in their roles throughout the pandemic, amid social distancing that required them to participate in virtual programming while attending as many in-person events as possible.
On Oct 2, a drive-thru farewell event took place in Sells, Ariz., where both women had a chance to thank their families and to receive praise for their unique two years as royalty.
“I’m excited to give this title to the 60th annual MIA, and I’m honored to serve as the 59th annual MIA. I’m really happy to end this journey among the five other women vying for the title,” said Amy Spotted Wolf. “I feel so honored to be a part of this legacy of strong indigenous women who have held this title, and it’s amazing to know that Autumn and I were a part of this.”
First Attendant Cooper echoed the sentiment: “It’s a huge honor to be part of the 60th anniversary of this scholarship program, and we hope that it goes on for another 60 years because it is a great program for young women,” she said. “Serving for two years, which has never been done, we accepted the challenge, and getting support from Arizona meant a lot to us.”
Both women originally began their service in 2019 as attendants to 2019-2020 Miss Indian Audriana Mitchell (CRIT). When the MIA association decided to cancel its 2020 pageant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association decided to move both women into higher roles. Both agreed, making Amy the 2020-2021 MIA and Autumn the 2020-2021 First Attendant.
Since being crowned, both women began hosting regular Arizona Tribal Royalty meetings. The meetings promoted networking between the state’s tribal royalty and helped provide personal and technical support during the pandemic. These virtual meetings turned into a plus, given that it was the first-time royalty could meet continuously. In addition, the meetings allowed everyone to learn how to serve their home communities better amid the pandemic.
Beyond serving an additional year in their royal roles, both women pursued important goals outside the MIA. In May, Amy Spotted Wolf graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. Autumn Cooper works for the Community at its Employment and Training office. She plans to continue her education by pursuing a degree in Communications in the future.
The Saturday, Oct. 9th 60th annual event also marked the beginning of new reigns. The organization crowned 2021-2022 Miss Indian Arizona Alyse Marrietta (GRIC). Her court consists of First Attendant Lorraine Cooley (San Carlos Apache Tribe) and Skehg’ Hiosik Amber Ariel Galindo (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community).