Jr. Miss Gila River Bids Farewell After Serving Two-Year Term

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News


After serving a two-year reign, Jr. Miss Gila River Sineca Jackson, District 3, will bid farewell to the role in March at the virtual 2022 Miss Gila River Pageant. Jackson served both years with great eagerness despite the pandemic, limited in-person events, social distancing, and mostly virtual programming. 


Sineca was crowned Jr. Miss Gila River in 2020, as a sophomore in high school, just before the pandemic. As her year-long reign came to a close, she and Miss Gila River Alyse Marrietta were each allowed to serve a second term. Both young women accepted. 


“It’s bittersweet because I enjoyed holding the title and representing the Community the best way I could,” said Jr. Miss Gila River Sineca Jackson. “And I just want to thank the whole Community for allowing me to hold this position, represent them, and I hope that I served the role well.” 


Jackson said that she felt the Community’s support and that she remains grateful for all the encouragement. She mentioned that it wasn’t easy, but through their support, she stuck with it for two years and followed through on an opportunity she’ll never forget for the rest of her life. 


Utilizing her platform of “Self Care,” Jackson provided virtual programming for the Community focused on mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. In addition, Jackson held many events that helped her peers with virtual fatigue, culture and gender roles. She also hosted a mental health panel with neighboring tribal royalty. 


Due to the pandemic, increased outreach and marketing, and PSAs on COVID-19 safety, vaccines almost became a secondary platform during Jackson’s reign. No matter the request, she was excited to be a part of the effort to keep the Community safe.


Jackson said her reign was full of numerous highlights. One of the most meaningful was the Drive-Thru Graduation Ceremony held in 2020. The hybrid event was one of the first for Jackson. She provided remarks before an audience at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. She said it was important to honor the graduates during the pandemic and that she enjoyed the opportunity to address them.


Another highlight for Jackson was the “Get Out the Vote” virtual rally in 2020, where Jackson introduced Georgia Democrat and national political figure Stacey Abrams. Jackson said the event empowered the Community to use its voice in the upcoming national and community elections. Jackson said she felt honored to be part of an effort that mobilized a high voter turnout that year. 


The pandemic posed some unique challenges to her reign, including being forced to navigate many events online via Zoom and WebEx. Jackson said the lack of in-person social interactions affected her motivation at times. 


Also unique was her partner Miss Gila River Alyse Marrietta’s departure in Oct 2021. Marrietta became the 2021-2022 Miss Indian Arizona and had to resign as Miss Gila River. Both cite one another as motivators during the two-year reign. 


“I am very proud of Sineca and all that she’s accomplished as Jr. Miss,” said Marrietta. “She’s grown so much, and I know she’s going to grow to be a powerful leader in the Community. I look forward to what she has in store for her in her education journey and return to the Community.”


As Jackson closes out her reign, she also thanked her family for their unconditional support, Marrietta as Miss Gila River, the Miss Gila River Committee, Gila River Broadcasting Corp. for all the filming, GRHC Behavioral Health Services for platform events, the Communications and Public Affairs Office, Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and the GRIC Community Council. 


As for the newly crowned Miss and Jr. Miss Gila River, Jackson encourages them to find a good support system during their upcoming reign. She said she will gladly lend her assistance for the new court in the future should they seek it.  


As this chapter comes to a close, Jackson has much to look forward to as she will graduate from Hamilton High School in May. This fall, Jackson will be attending her dream college, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. 


To honor Jr. Miss Gila River’s conclusion, a virtual farewell celebration for Jr. Miss Sineca Jackson will occur on Mar 12 at 10 a.m. The farewell event will stream on Gila River Broadcasting Corp.’s Facebook page and GRBC channel 29.1 and re-air again at 5:00 p.m.