Since 1961, the Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program (formerly known as the Miss Indian Arizona Program) has been held annually, first at the Arizona State Fair and then in various tribal communities throughout the state, to honor young Native women who wish to further their education and serve as ambassadors in their communities. This year, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Skehg’ Hiosik (Pretty Flower) Galindo, 18, will be representing the SRPMIC with hopes of becoming the 2015-16 Miss Indian Arizona. The program will take place October 10 at Chandler Center for the Arts. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Traditional Values Through Song and Dance.”
Each October, young women ages 17-24 compete in six categories: interview, contemporary or traditional talent, evening gown, traditional dress, oral presentation, and one-on-one interviews. The winner receives scholarship opportunities to assist with furthering her education and developing a career, as well as serving as a role model for Arizona’s Native communities.
Galindo, the 2014-15 Miss Salt River, has been competing in pageants since she was 6 years old. Galindo is the daughter of Sunflower and Robert Galindo, Jr. Her maternal grandparents are Leonard Dallas, Jr. and Natasha Silversmith. Her paternal grandparents are Bearpaw Galindo and the late Karen Fulwilder Hayes.
She felt it was only right that she compete for Miss Indian Arizona, following in the footsteps of Miss Indian Arizona First Attendant and Community member Martha Ludlow-Martinez, who is also Galindo’s mentor for the competition.
“Be confident in yourself” is what Galindo has taken from Ludlow-Martinez; she will utilize this advice during the competition.
“Martha said the most important thing is to be confident, because if you’re not, it’ll show on stage and people will know,” said Galindo.
Galindo is working on earning an A.A. in business with a minor in photography from Scottsdale Community College. She wishes to transfer to Arizona State University and eventually become an entrepreneur, starting her own photography business. She enjoys representing her Community, being an ambassador, bringing positive change and being a role model. If she is crowned Miss Indian Arizona, she hopes to represent all of Arizona’s Native tribes and visit different Native communities throughout the state.
“We tried to [incorporate] both O’odham and Piipaash, and we even got input from Community members and [the SRPMIC] Tribal Council for this pageant,” said Galindo.
“I think going to the pageant will make you feel proud that I am representing you. You can also see what some of the other competitors are doing to help their Native communities, and hopefully that will encourage you to become ambassadors as well. Galindo looks forward to hearing the audience’s cheers at the pageant. “I’ve always gone to the pageants in previous years, and just hearing family, friends and the Community in the crowd chanting your name or cheering you on seems like a great feeling. It would make me feel proud, and I would think, ‘Wow, this many people came out to support me,’” added Galindo.
“I am honored and proud to not only be representing myself and my family, but the whole community in this year’s pageant. It would mean a lot to me if the Community came out to support me. I think it is exciting, intense and it’s something that everyone can enjoy. You’ll be able to hear different ladies speak and share their cultures. I’ve been working hard these past couple of weeks to get everything I need and I would like the Community to be there to see all the hard work that I’ve put into the pageant,” said Galindo. “Lastly, I would like to thank all of those who have helped me and supported me thus far. Thank you and hope to see you there!”
Come support the SRPMIC’s very own Skehg’ Hiosik Galindo in this year’s Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program on October 10 at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased directly from the box office or online at www.chandlercenter.org. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under.