GRIC Royalty Attend NCAI Conference in Alaska
July 15, 2022
After tireless fundraising efforts, Miss Gila River 2022-23 Kelsey Martinez and Jr. Miss Gila River 2022-23 Eliana Rhodes attended the National Congress of American Indians’ midyear conference in Anchorage, Alaska June 12-16.
GRIC Royalty served as goodwill ambassadors for the Community at the conference, where the theme was “Thinking Beyond Self-Determination.”
The journey was enlightening for both women as they learned more about the surrounding tribes’ culture, language, songs, and food. Both also attended NCAI workshops and were fortunate to hear speakers address various issues throughout Indian country.
Antone said she felt empowered after the conference, and stated, “We all come from a strong bloodline and must continue to make sure our voices are heard.”
Martinez shared that a highlight was attending a workshop called Medicine Obstacle Course, where she learned more about yoga, meditation, lacrosse and traditional food preparation.
“This workshop was my favorite because it reminded me of how I’m implementing traditional lifestyles within our modern one and how learning those traditions could be the best thing for our spiritual and physical well-being,” she said.