Thu Sep 7th, 2023
Maykh pinnu nuuchiu puan,
Hello my name is Leandra Nizhoni Anastancia Litz. I am the 2022-2023 Jr. Miss Southern Ute, I am Southern Ute and come from the Muache and Capota bands. My Ute name is Thunder Cloud Young Lady given to me by my aunty Hilda Burch. I am half Navajo — my mom’s clan is Mexican Clan and my Cheii’s clan is Zuni Edge Water Clan. My mother is Alyssa Nez and my father is Leandro Litz. My paternal grandparents are Nicole Lansing and the Late Randall Litz, my maternal grandparents are Fannie Yazzie and Darrell Nez. My great grandparents are Judy Burch Lansing, the Late Dwight Lansing, Alethea Gunn and the Late Gilbert Litz Sr.
I was crowned in September during the 100th Southern Ute Tribal Fair royalty pageant. During the pageant I had to showcase my Ute speaking, a traditional talent, and read out loud my essay about how the Jr. Miss Southern Ute title would benefit me. During those times I received guidance from Dorothy Wing and my grandmother Judy Burch in my Ute speaking and learning how to properly introduce myself in Ute.
During the process of my learning, my family provided me with words of encouragement and guidance. My community and those around me were my biggest supporters and helped me in every way possible. My late grandfather Randall who was also known as “Space Man” was my number one supporter and helped me through many hardships that I had gone through, he was a big part of my life and helped mold me into the person I am today.
During my term of the Jr. Miss Southern Ute title, I was able to experience several different opportunities such as being a head women dancer and being able to represent my people and family. Being the Jr. Miss was a privilege to me and I took it very seriously since it helped me become a better person and I was able to represent my tribe. It helped me become stronger in my heart and be more open to those around me.
During my reign I also participated in Cross Country, Basketball and was a summer youth employee. I had to learn how to balance out my schedule for my royalty events. I worked for Southern Ute Elder’s Services; my boss was Hanley Frost whose Ute class I was attending on Wednesdays at the Southern Ute Museum during lunch time. During my summer youth employment, I worked hard and attended as many events as I could.
I was able to build relationships with many other royalties such as the Ute Mountain Ute Royalty who taught me a lot as well. I also was able to build relationships with those who attended the same events I attended. I was also able to learn more about myself and who I am as a Ute woman. My favorite events were the sip chat and chews I attended with my mom and grandma Judy; at these lunches I was able to learn from my elders. I also got to spend time with elders from our sister tribes. During Sip chat and chews it was an honor to serve my elders and learn as much about my culture as I can.
I am very honored to have served the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as an ambassador for my people, my community, and my family. Tog’oiak’
3/31/23- Hozhoni days powwow in Durango, Colo.
4/1/23-Community egg hunt in Ignacio, Colo.
4/1/23-Hozhoni days powwow day 2 in Durango, Colo.
4/4/23-Ute Mountain Honorary Tribal Sexual Assault Proclamation signing in Towaoc, Colo.
4/7/23-2023 child abuse awareness kick-off in Ignacio, Colo.
4/7/23-Sip, Chat and Chew in Ignacio, Colo.
4/11/23-2023 Golden High School senior seminar visit in Ignacio, Colo.
4/14/23-Ute Day at the Capitol in Denver, Colo.
4/15/23- Spring Gourd Dance in Towaoc, Colo.
4/21/23-Color run, child abuse awareness event in Ignacio, Colo.
4/22/23-Bear Dance workshop hosted by royalty in Ignacio, Colo.
4/26/23-Delivered gifts to construction services for appreciation in Ignacio, Colo.
4/28/23-Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, N.M.
4/29/23- Gathering of Nation powwow in Albuquerque, N.M.
4/30/23-Nizhoni Days powwow at UNM Johnsons field in Albuquerque, N.M.
5/1/23 35th Annual academic awards where I received a certificate in Ignacio, Colo.
5/5/23-Southwest Indigenous Language Development Institute graduation in Durango, Colo.
5/10/23-SUIMA family night in Ignacio, Colo.
5/12/12-SUIMA’s annual field day in Ignacio, Colo.
5/26/12-SUIMA’s graduation in Ignacio, Colo.
5/26/23-Honoring Karen Rodberg in Ignacio, Colo.
5/26/23-Southern Ute Bear dance and powwow in Ignacio, Colo.
5/26/23-Bear Dance kick off meal in Ignacio, Colo.
5/27/23-Ignacio High School graduation in Ignacio, Colo.
5/27/23-Bear Dance and powwow in Ignacio, Colo.
5/29/23-Day of Remembrance in Ignacio, Colo.
6/1/23-Ute Mountain Ute outgoing royalty dinner in Towaoc, Colo.
6/4/23-Ute Mountain Ute Bear Dance in Towaoc, Colo.
6/10/23-Youth conference powwow in Dulce, N.M.
6/12/23-Durango Rendezvous in Ignacio, Colo.
6/15/23-Father’s Day concert in the park Ignacio, Colo.
6/16/23-Welcoming the veterans charity ride in Ignacio, Colo.
6/16/23-Sip, chat and chew in Ignacio, Colo.
6/24/23-Scrapin the Rockies in Ignacio, Colo.
7/13/23-Southern Ute general meeting in Ignacio, Colo.
7/15/23- Little Beaver Powwow and parade in Dulce, N.M.
7/22/23-Missing & Murdered Indigenous people walk in Towaoc, Colo.
7/24/23-Community healing land blessing at the Elhi in Ignacio, Colo.
7/26/23-Jimmy Newtown youth leadership conference in Ignacio, Colo.
7/29/23-San Ignacio parade (won grand prize) and festivities in Ignacio, Colo.
7/29/23-We ride for her in Towaoc, Colo.
8/4/23-Pino Nuche Indigenous art market & juried show in Ignacio, Colo.
8/5/23-Pino Nuche Indigenous art market & juried show in Ignacio, Colo.
8/5/23-Russell Box’s proclamation and reception in Ignacio, Colo.
8/12/23-Indigenous fashion show in Ignacio, Colo.
8/17/23-Breastfeeding awareness walk & community baby shower in Ignacio, Colo.
8/17/23-SUIMA’s back to school open house in Ignacio, Colo.
8/18/23-Back to school bash in Ignacio, Colo.
8/25/23-Employee appreciation in Ignacio, Colo.
8/26/23-Southern Ute royalty pageant in Ignacio, Colo.
9/1/23-Durango Veterans Run in Ignacio, Colo.
9/1/23-Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Ignacio, Colo.
9/2/23-34th Annual Totah festival in Farmington, N.M.
9/3/23-M.M.I.R Ride in Ignacio, Colo.
9/8/23-Southern Ute fair festivities in Ignacio, Colo.