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Miss Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Queen to study abroad

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Miss Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial Queen, Zunneh-bah Martin held an appreciation luncheon for the local community this past weekend. It was an afternoon filled with family, friends, and community members to gather and show her gratitude for all their support.

Martin, 20, graduated from Tohatchi High School as class Valedictorian in 2015. She won the title as Miss Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial on Aug. 13 at the Red Rock State Park. Crowned as a Miss Ceremonial, Martin has been busy with appearances, activities, events in our communities and neighborhoods. She is balancing out her commitments before she takes her continued education abroad, overseas in New Zealand.

Martin is in her third year at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. This fall semester she applied to study abroad and was accepted to travel overseas to study with the program, New Zealand Culture and Environment Assured Future. She will be studying a variety of different cultures and Indigenous Tribes across New Zealand, and how the people practice and are working to protect their environment.

“I am interested in this field of study, because that is what I do here at home, as an Indigenous person. I am always advocating for protecting our culture, our language, and protecting our land,” Martin said.

She will be studying abroad for the next four months, and will still hold her duties as Ms. Ceremonial through the internet, live videos, and blogging.

Bah is honored and thankful for her parent’s and her sister’s. Her crown for Ceremonial was a team effort. She is also very thankful for all the support from the community – through social media, the internet, people who were at the ceremonial, and through prayer.

Martin has a strong connection with her family. She looks up to her parents. She admires hearing about their stories, their history, how they were raised, and the conditions they were living in.

“Just hearing their stories of the challenges that they had to overcome. I really look up to my mom and dad. They both went the extra mile to make sure my sister’s and I were protected,” she said.

The appreciation luncheon brought together the community, family, and friends who showed their support by attending a program filled with stories and descriptions of Ms. Ceremonial.

A motorcycle-benefit-bike run was assembled to raise donations for Martin’s trip to New Zealand. There was approximately 40 bikes that attended and made their way to the Gallup McKinley County Schools Student Support Services Building. In all, $800 was raised for the queen.

Sunshine and Bobby Martin are the proud parents of Zunneh-bah Martin.

“As the oldest child of three girls, she is the one that gets out there and takes risks. For a quiet and shy young lady, she has learned to find her voice and she’s learned to find causes that she believes in,” Bobby Martin said.

They are very proud of her – proud of all her accomplishments and know that she has a bright future ahead of her.

“I am excited and anxious for Zunneh-bah to be traveling to New Zealand. She will be with other relatives around the world. In that respect, I know that they will take care of her for me,” Sunshine Martin said about her concerns of her daughter traveling to New Zealand.

Zunneh-bah Martin is a young ambassador and representative in Washington, D.C. She is a part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous. This role has aided her in meeting youth from all over the United States.

By Duane Haven

Sun Correspondent