The Miss Ak-Chin Pageant began in 2008. The tradition arose after conversations were started to visualize and plan their goals for the pageant. Upon recommending the pageant to the Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Council, the endorsement of the pageant planning was approved. The research and knowledge of how other “sister tribes” celebrate their pageants, significantly influence and benefit the long-standing traditions celebrating Ak-Chin’s birthday (Masik Tas) in December. Ak-Chin’s Masik Tas is celebrated every year with a pageant, parade, entertainment, cultural dances, food vendors, a rodeo, a basketball tournament, and vaila dances.
Congratulations to Esperanza Miranda, a 17-year-old senior at Maricopa High School, for winning the Miss Ak-Chin Pageant. She was chosen based on the judges’ scores in a variety of categories: essay, introduction, traditional and modern talent, and traditional and modern dress. Miranda came out on top, bringing her incredible talent and personality to the table.
The requirements on which Miss Ak-Chin is chosen are as follows: must be enrolled as an Ak-Chin Indian Community member, must be between the ages of 17 to 25, must have never been married, have no children, and must be attending school or working.
New to the pageant this year was the addition of Jr. Miss Ak-Chin. The pageant committee’s vision was to create a stepping stone for young women who were potentially interested in vying for the title of Miss Ak-Chin. Crowned as Jr. Miss Ak-Chin is Anyssa Justin, who is 15 years old and a sophomore at Maricopa High School. Her award was determined by the judges’ scores using the same criteria as for Miss Ak-Chin. The requirements for this pageant were as follows: must be enrolled as an Ak-Chin Indian Community member, must be between the ages of 13 to 16, and must be a full-time student attending school.
The most important objective of creating the pageant was to provide young women in the community an opportunity to obtain the meaning of their history in heritage and culture. The pageant allows young women to enhance their public speaking skills, travel to different areas and achieve considerable growth as ambassadors of the community and for themselves.
For more information, visit http://www.ak-chin.nsn.us.
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