Miss Indian Arizona Looks Back at 2021-22 Reign
Oct. 7, 2022
As Alyse Marrietta, District 3, nears the completion of her reign serving as the 60th Miss Indian Arizona (MIA) 2021-22, she looked back on her experiences serving the Gila River Indian Community and the state’s 22 tribes. A farewell event recognizing the completion of her reign took place Sept. 18 at the Shelde Building at Wild Horse Pass, where friends, family and GRIC leadership gathered to celebrate her accomplishment.
“It’s been one of the greatest honors of my life to hold this title and to represent all the tribes of Arizona,” said Marrietta, who graduated in 2019 from Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said, “She’s incredibly poised with dignity and just wisdom; we’re all proud of her.”
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone provided a prayer for the event, spoke of Marrietta’s humbleness and thanked her for taking on leadership among other women in the Community.
“Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and Lt. Gov. Monica Antone have always supported my endeavors and tribal royalty,” Marrietta said. “So the fact that I stepped up to run for Miss Indian Arizona couldn’t have been without their support.”
Marrietta, who also was Miss Gila River 2020-21, served both her reigns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It means a lot to me,” Marrietta said. “I knew that it was going to be a special time, almost like a revitalization, because the last two years they hadn’t had a pageant.”
She continued, “I knew that we needed to kind of step things up in terms of just reminding people of the role that Miss Indian Arizona has for the communities and being an ambassador for outside organizations and other events.”
Marrietta shared how the role of Miss Gila River helped her run for Miss Indian Arizona.
“I think that [it] really prepared my speaking skills, and just being able to think outside the box in terms of how to outreach to people,” she said, “especially during a time when we’re trying to transition ourselves as a whole world from the pandemic to post-pandemic.”
Marrietta’s platform as Miss Indian Arizona has been to encourage others to practice and focus on self-care, “finding the balance between our physical, mental and spiritual well-being,” she said.
She implemented this approach by sharing her ideas, thoughts and self-care practices during speaking engagements and on social media.
Marrietta added, “I really enjoyed reaching out to the youth and encouraging them to learn more about their Indigenous identities.”
She said she didn’t know much about who she was as an Indigenous person when she was young, but it was important to learn about the cultural aspects and the issues that face our people today so she could pass them on to the youth. “They’re the next generation that is going to find solutions and be innovative to help our people,” Marrietta said.
Highlights of her reign as Miss Indian Arizona included being involved with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness event at the Arizona State Capitol in May of this year.
“My experience being Miss Indian Arizona was quite an amazing journey for me,” Marrietta said. “I saw myself grow a lot.”
District 4 Councilwoman Regina Antone, who also was present for the celebration, said, “I followed [Marrietta] all the way through, and I’ve been her support, through letters and things that she needs.”
Antone added, “I feel like she’s still going places. She’s not done yet.”