Published February 25, 2017
SAN CARLOS INDIAN RESERVATION — Last Saturday, Miss Native American USA, Ashley Nilianh Susan had the opportunity to join the Third Annual Oak Flat March in Arizona as part of the annual protest to save the controversial land on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.
Susan (Apache) joined the supporters and tribal leaders in Oak Flat on Saturday afternoon in support of a land subject to attempts by the federal government to sell it to mining interests, against the wishes of the local tribe.
Susan, in full support of Oak Flat met the visiting Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II and former San Carlos Chairman Windsler Nosie Sr. The reigning Miss Native America USA even helped make fry bread. The event boosted traditional food, but due to weather, cancelled much of the music artists’ performances and speeches from tribal leaders, including Susan’s speech.
“It was a really powerful experience and it allowed me the opportunity to see the concerns of Indian Country. We need to support our brothers and sisters in protecting our homelands, our environment and our resources. These are leaders that face the same problems that our chiefs before us were also concerned about in the 1800s. The health and well-being of our people are so important, we must stand together to fight for our rights,” commented Susan after the momentous event.
Susan is the fifth title holder of the title of Miss Native America USA.
She is from the White Mountain Apache and Walker River Paiute Tribes is from White River, Arizona. She is a motivational speaker and her platform is to spread the message of the importance of physical health among the Native American communities.