CHANDLER — Alyssa Garcia, a member of the Ak-Chin Indian Community in Pinal County, is the new Miss Indian Arizona.
Garcia won the crown during the Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Pageant on Oct. 11 at the Chandler Center of the Arts. First runner-up was Mykhal Mendoza, a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
Also participating were two members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe — Sabrina Marie Avila and reigning Miss San Carlos Apache Reyes Tom.
Avila sang two traditional Apache songs taught to her by tribal member and former Miss Indian Arizona Nora Wahnee Dawson. Tom explained the Apache Sunrise Ceremony and also provided two songs during the ceremony.
“We are very proud of our two tribal members that participated in this year’s pageant,” said Gilson Wash Councilman Tao Etpison. “Our two girls did very well and beautifully sang traditional Apache songs. I was glad to be there in person and to show my support that the San Carlos Apaches are a very proud and beautiful people.”
2012 Miss Indian Arizona Angelica Lopez, of the Tohono O’odham Nation, sang the national anthem, and the opening prayer was provided by 2012 first runner-up Desirae Rambler, from the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
The Miss San Carlos Apache Pageant will take place next month.