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Laney Lupe Crowned as Miss Indian Arizona

On October 14, 2023, Laney Lupe, an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, was crowned Miss Indian Arizona during the 62nd Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program held at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Laney is the tenth members from her community to hold the title of Miss Indian Arizona Laney Maria Lupe is the 22-year-old daughter of Fitzgerald and Eliza Lupe. Laney Graduated from Park University and received her Bachelor's degree majoring in Sports & Exercise Science focusing on Exercise Physiology.

Laney's platform as Miss Indian Arizona is "Promoting the Importance of Being Physically Active."" Laney states: "I want to help prepare the younger generation when they start their future journey, especially any indigenous student-athletes. I want to maintain and apply my craft in any given situation and continue to advance my learning thorough new experiences in any shadow or volunteer opportunities.""

As Miss Indian Arizona Laney will now face a rigorous year of travel to many Arizona Indian reservations and special appearances at various schools, pow-wows, and other state events. She will also travel to several out of state events. In addition to this schedule, she is expected to maintain her school attendance which will be very challenging. The Miss Indian Arizona Association's philosophy is that education is a very high priority.

Natiana King, an enrolled members of the Navajo Nation was selected as Miss Indian Arizona 1st Attendant. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Ryan Clah and Roxyanne Harvey. Some of her interest include learning about new music, going to the gym, creating healthy habits, and doing things that allows her to continually learn. Throughout Natiana's academic journey she has been awarded Dean's list and honor roll and recently received the Navajo Nation Bilingual Seal. This seal recognize students who are fluent in the Dine language. Currently, she is attending Gateway Community College working towards her certificate as a Radiology Technician. Natiana would like to promote "Encouraging our Native Youth to Walk in Beauty and Build Upon their Cultural Resiliency." Through this platform she wants to help youth reconnect with their cultural identity and take pride in who they are. Oral, Talent, and Essay presentation awards were all presented to Natiana.

Miss Indian Arizona 2nd Attendant is Tonana Ben from the Navajo Nation. Tonana is the 20-year-old daughter of Gerld Ben and Brenlla Gilmore. Tonana is majoring in Biological Science with an emphasis in Biomedical Studies at Arizona State University. As she plans for graduate school she would like to attend her dream school, the University of Washington. There she would like to pursue a career in Indigenous Genetic Research. Tonana states "My goal is to improve indigenous health for the future generations to come while protecting our data sovereignty. Something we still fight to protect today." In her free time she enjoys extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends and spending time with her pets. Tonana would like to promote "Representation of Indigenous People in STEM Professions." She believes that our representation matters and is something we should strive for. The Miss Congeniality award was presented to Tonana. This year's program had representatives from the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Navajo Nation, Gila River Indian Community, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the San Carlos Apache Tribe. List of awards for the evening:

- Miss Indian Arizona 2023- 2024- Laney Lupe, White Mountain Apache

- 1st Attendant to Miss Indian Arizona- Natiana King, Navajo Nation

- 2nd Attendant to Miss Indian Arizona- Tonana Ben, Navajo Nation

- People's Choice- Samantha Stauffer, San Carlos Apache Tribe

- Miss Congeniality- Tonana Ben, Navajo Nation

- Community Service Award- Kelsey Martinez, Gila River Indian Community

- Essay Award- Natiana King, Navajo Nation

- Evening Wear- Samantha Stauffer, San Carlos Apache Tribe

- Talent Award- Natiana King, Navajo Nation

- Oral Presentation- Natiana King, Navajo Nation

The Miss Indian Arizona Association congratulates all the winners and extends sincere thanks to all the participants and their parents. We look forward to working with the 2023-2024 Miss Indian Arizona Court during the year of their reign.




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