On April 1, 2017, Mariah Sharpe, Colorado River Indian Tribes assumed the title of First Attendant to Miss Indian Arizona. The position was relinquished by Mykhal Mendoza, White Mountain Apache Tribe. Mykhal relinquished the title to participate in the Miss Indian World pageant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Action was taken by the Miss Indian Arizona Association in accordance with the Association By-Laws at the meeting held on March 18, 2017.Mariah will began serving as the First Attendant for the next six months which entails representing Miss Indian Arizona when she is unable to attend a function and traveling to various tribal, state, national, private and school functions on her behalf. Many requests are received for Miss Indian Arizona and her court so Mariah has already had a busy schedule in keeping up with these requests. Also, many functions overlap and when it is determined by the Miss Indian Arizona Association that Miss Indian Arizona should be represented Mariah will have the responsibility. Mariah has already been very active in her role as second alternate and there has been no hesitation from her in stepping up and accepting the first attendant onus. In speaking with Mariah by phone she stated “It has been a special honor to serve the Colorado River Indian Tribes, when I first competed for Miss Indian Arizona and now serving all Indian Tribes and the State of Arizona is a very distinct pleasure. The young women I have met, I will never forget and the experience has been very eye opening and has endeared my cultural values and the importance of our contribution to the State of Arizona. I humbly and gratefully accept the title of First Attendant and appreciate serving as an Ambassador for the Indian people of Arizona, along with Shaandiin Parrish, Miss Indian Arizona.’Sincere congratulations go out to Mariah Sharpe for accepting this responsibility and we are looking forward to having her fulfill this important role on behalf of the tribes of Arizona and the Miss Indian Arizona Association. Any requests for Miss Indian Arizona and First Alternate should be sent to Miss Indian Arizona, 30959 Bluewater Drive. Parker, AZ 85344 or to the website missindianarizona.com where a request form can be completed. The website also provides the history and other information regarding Miss Indian Arizona.
The 55th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program came to an end with the crowning of Shaandiin Paul Parrish of the Navajo Tribe. She was crowned as Miss Indian Arizona, 2016-17 on October 8th at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Shaandiin is the 22 year old daughter of Shelly Parrish and Timothy Begay and has one brother and one sister. She is attending Arizona State University and plans to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service and Public Policy. Shaandiin serves on the ASU American Indian Council and is a past Miss Indian Arizona 2nd Attendant. She also received the awards for Talent and Oral Presentation.
Although Shaandiin was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation she is not fluent in the Navajo language. To be fluent is her greatest educational and personal goal. She completes in pageants to improve her public speaking abilities, to practice the Navajo language and to learn more about her culture.
As Miss Indian Arizona, Shaandiin’s platform will be to encourage Native American youth of Arizona to DREAM BIG. “I believe that the power of change lies within the hands of the current generation’s youth. Children have imaginations beyond belief and I believe this creativity can help our Native American communities to innovate new solutions to old problems. Everything starts with a small thought that might grow into a dream. I think the youth just need encouragement to pursue their dreams by setting goals. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people that believed in me”.