62nd Annual Miss Indian Arizona Program Showcases Tribal Talent
October 20, 2023
Gila River Indian News
The 62nd Miss Indian Arizona (MIA) Scholarship Program occurred on Oct 14. at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Showcasing seven talented women representing themselves and their communities for the opportunity of a lifetime. Laney Lupe from the White Mountain Apache Tribe was selected as the 2023-24 Miss Indian Arizona.
The MIA scholarship program participants underwent six categories to showcase themselves in, including an interview, talent (contemporary or traditional), evening gown attire, traditional dress, oral presentation, and personal interviews.
Kelsey Martinez from the Gila River Indian Community participated in the 2023 MIA scholarship program, representing her roots in District 3. In Martinez’s talent showcase, she demonstrated how O’otham women cleaned cowhide. In her traditional reflections and oral presentation, she described her traditional dress that an O’otham woman would wear when completing tasks around her home.
Contestants for the MIA scholarship program were Tonana Ben from the Navajo Nation; Manderee Jose from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Laney Maria Lupe, White Mountain Apache Tribe; Natiana King from the Navajo Nation, and Stacia Colleen Scott, from the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
“I feel great!” said 2023-24 Miss Indian Arizona Laney Lupe after winning her new title and role. Lupe’s platform will promote physical health and its connection to an individual’s mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.
The other awards and nominees for the night are as follows: People’s Choice - Samantha Stauffer, Miss Congeniality - Tonana Ben, Community Service Award - Kelsey Martinez, Essay Award - Natiana King, Evening Wear - Samantha Stauffer, Talent Award - Natiana King, Oral Presentation - Natiana King.
Natiana King was selected as MIA’s first attendant for 2023-24, and Tonana Ben was chosen as the 2023-24 MIA second attendant, both representing the Navajo Nation.