Nunai Niaa, (my name) is Grace Gonzales. I am the 2022-2023 Miss Southern Ute, my parents are Amy Barry and Mario Gonzales, my maternal grandparents are Marge and Ben Barry, and my paternal grandparents are Joe and Debbie Gonzales.
I was crowned August 27, 2022, at the Royalty Pageant located at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility as well as to be a voice to the youth to not be afraid to participate in cultural events and to be proud of who you are. As time goes on it begins to become our job and responsibility to keep our culture alive and to do so we must always learn and teach as we go on throughout our lives to pass on traditions and leave our ways behind for the future.
- Attended Pageant – August 27, 2022 – The Royalty Pageant, I attended the pageant and participated in the activities, and was later crowned later.
- White Mesa Bear Dance – September 4, 2022 – Attended the White Mesa bear dance, introduced myself to the people, and socialized with the sister tribe.
- Scott’s Pond Dedication with SUIMA – September 8, 2022 – Attended the Scotts pond’s dedication at Scott’s Pond with SUIMA to dedicate a bench in honor of the 100th Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair.
- Fair Kick-Off Meal – September 9, 2022
- SUIT Fair PowWow – September 9-11, 2022- Attended the SUIT Fair Pow Wow, Royalty attended every grand entry, I was head lady for the 10th and the 11th, We did introductions after grand entry and participated in intertribal dances.
- SUIT Fair Parade – September 10, 2022
- 10th Anniversary at Chimney Rock – September 23, 2022 Southern Ute Royalty attended the event to provide a welcome, to participate in dancing and to listen to dignitaries at the event.
- Skate Jam 2022 – September 23, 2022 – I attended the Skate Jam and gave an introduction speech as well as talking about the meaning and importance of 988 (suicide prevention hotline) which was the topic of the Skate Jam to bring awareness to suicide.
- Indigenous People’s Day – October 10, 2022- Fort Lewis College to recognize the importance of Indigenous Day for all Native Americans. We also were able to share culture and welcome all who attended.
- SUIT Employee Appreciation Day Welcome – October 28, 2022 – I attended Employee Appreciation Day to thank and honor our employees for spending long workdays and time away from family to keep our tribal offices open and usable for our membership.
- Trunk or Treat – October 31, 2022 – The Royalty and I set up for the trunk or treat to give out candy for Halloween to kids and families, we were all dressed up as well as dancing and laughing.
- Masquerade PowWow – November 5, 2022 – I attended the masquerade pow wow held at the multipurpose, the membership and community was invited, there was Halloween costume contests (adults, teens, kids), hand drum contests, food, drinks, and even vendors. I and the royalty that attended helped vote on the costume contests for the winners.
- Tour and Welcome with Durango Schools at SUCCM – November 9, 2022 – I participated at the Museum with the Durango Schools to introduce the royalty position I am reigning, what my purpose is as an ambassador, what my place is in the tribe, I shared Ute language with the kids to teach them how to introduce themselves in Ute and answered any questions they had along the way through my presentation.
- Thanksgiving PowWow Ft. Duchesne – November 24, 25, 26, 2022 – I attended the Thanksgiving Pow Wow in Ft. Duchesne, I participated in all grand entry’s as well as royalty able to make it, I danced in intertribals, met new family and friends, and socialized amongst our sister tribe.
- LCB Walk – December 10, 2022 – I attended the LCB walk to honor Mr. Burch for making a way for our tribe and being an example for all of our membership to look towards and to always keep our ways growing and continuing.
- Tribal Christmas Dinner and Program – December 18, 2022 – I attended the Christmas Dinner and program, I socialized and greeted all of our membership and guests, as well as gave an introduction and greetings speech, helped serve food to elders and those who needed it, I also watched and listened to the SUIMA kids sing Christmas carols in Ute .
- I look forward to the upcoming New Years Eve event at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facilty along with all of the great tribal community events lined up for 2023.
Tuu Kristmes and Aa-tomo-tu-wa
Miss Southern Ute, 2022-2023
Jr. Miss Southern Ute
Hello my name is Leandra Litz I am the current 2022 – 2023 Jr. Miss Southern Ute. I am the daughter of Alyssa Nez and Leandro Litz. I have 3 little brothers Dwight, Leandro Jr. and Tavach.
I am honored to carry this title along with my fellow royalty friends. I have been able to practice my public speaking, leadership skills and cultural knowledge. I learn something new at different events. Like how to greet in another language, the time of year a traditional dance may occur and teachings from other people. This title has shown me how much work and dedication it takes to be a a strong leader and I am grateful for the opportunity. I will continue to do my best to represent our tribe on and off the reservation.
A big thank you to everyone who has given me encouraging words, I truly appreciate them. Lastly I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, may 2023 bring you good health and happiness. Here is a list of the events I have attended.
- Honoring all Veterans Run/Walk
- All nations community a Pow Wow, San Juan College
- 34th Annual Totah Festival & Indian Market
- Chimney Rock 10th Anniversary of designation
- Golden Wing Rendezvous
- Fishing Day
- Southern Ute Fair/Parade
- Southern Ute Rodeo
- 2nd Annual Skate Jam
- Trunk or Treat
- Employee Appreciation Day
- Tipi Raising
- Autumn abundance seasonal jamboree
- Masquerade Pow Wow
- All Native American heritage month events at Southern Ute museum
- Southern Ute tribal Thanksgiving
- Fort Lewis American heritage game
- Remember walk
- Sun Ute gourd dance
- Ignacio middle/high school culture event
- Northern Ute Pow Wow
- Ignacio Taste of Christmas
- Leonard C. Burch Walk
- Southern Ute Christmas Dinner
Jr. Miss Southern Ute, 2022-2023
Jr. Miss Southern Ute Alternate
My name is Myla GoodTracks, and I am the 2022-2023 Jr. Miss Southern Ute Alternate. My Ute name is Wichitachi, it means Little Bird and was given to me by my Great-Aunt Jennifer GoodTracks. I am the daughter of Olin & Stephanie GoodTracks. My paternal grandparents are Robb GoodTracks & Wilinda Price. My Maternal grandparents are Steven Rivera & Jody Tahlo.
My reign as Jr. Miss Southern Ute Alternate started at the 100th Annual Southern Ute Fair Powwow. Since then, these are the following events I have attended so far:
- Oct. 28 – Tribal Employee Appreciation where I shook hands with the Tribal Employees and introduced myself.
- Oct. 31 – Halloween Trunk or Treat where myself and the other royalty gave out candy to the residents that came by.
- Nov. 12 – Annual Tribal Thanksgiving Dinner where I introduced myself, shook hands, and helped where I was needed.
- Nov. 18 – SUIMA “Remembering Our History” walk where I walked with the SUIMA students, staff & families.
- Nov. 18 – N7 Fort Lewis Basketball Game
- Nov. 19 – Sun Ute Gourd Dance
- Nov. 22 – Native American Heritage Month performance @ the Ignacio High School & Ignacio Middle school where I introduced myself and performed.
- Dec. 2 – Taste of Christmas Parade where I rode on the Casino float with other Southern Ute Royalty.
- Dec. 10 – Leonard C. Burch Annual Memorial Walk. I walked with the family and attendees of the annual walk.
- Dec. 17 – Annual Tribal Christmas Dinner where I introduced myself, shook hands, and helped where I was needed.
- Dec. 17 – SUIMA Christmas Program. I watched and supported the SUIMA students during their performances.
It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as an ambassador and representative for the Southern Ute tribal membership and my family. I will continue to do my best to represent you all at various Southern Ute tribal functions, or any other events/powwow’s that I attended along the way.
Jr. Miss Southern Ute Alternate, 2022-2023
Southern Ute Brave Alternate
My name is Osias GoodTracks, and I am the 2022-2023 Southern Ute Brave Alternate.
My Ute name is ‘Ayapuchi, it means Turtle and was given to me by my parents. I am the son of Olin & Stephanie GoodTracks. My paternal grandparents are Robb GoodTracks & Wilinda Price. My Maternal grandparents are Steven Rivera and Jody Tahlo.
My reign as Southern Ute Brave Alternate started at the 100th Annual Southern Ute Fair Powwow. Since then, these are the following events I have attended so far:
- Tribal Employee Appreciation – Oct. 28
- Halloween Trunk or Treat – Oct. 31
- Annual Tribal Thanksgiving Dinner – Nov. 12
- SUIMA “Remembering Our History” walk – Nov. 18
- N7 Fort Lewis Basketball Game – Nov. 18
- Native American Heritage Month performance @ the Ignacio High School & Middle school – Nov. 22
- Taste of Christmas Parade – Dec. 2
- Leonard C. Burch Annual Memorial Walk – Dec. 10
- Annual Tribal Christmas Dinner – Dec. 17
- SUIMA Christmas Program – Dec. 17
It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as an ambassador and representative for the Southern Ute tribal membership and my family. I will continue to do my best to represent you all at various Southern Ute tribal functions, or any other events and powwows that I attended along the way.
Southern Ute Brave Alternate, 2022-2023