New FNA royalty bring culture, community service and traditional regalia to the forefront

by Diana Campbell

Hailey Moses, left, is the 2023 Miss FNA. Maliah Ganetta, right, is the 2023 FNA Princess. Steve Ginnis, center is FNA executive director. photo by Diana Cambell

In a celebration of Alaska Native culture, two Fairbanks young women and a baby boy were elected as Fairbanks Native Association royalty.

Hailey Moses is the 2023 Miss FNA. Maliah Ganatta is the 2023 FNA Princess, and Walter Huntington is the 2023 FNA Baby.

Moses is Yup’ik, Athabascan and Inupiaq. The traditional regalia she wore – headdress, parka, kuspuk and seal hide boots – represented her heritage and was made by her family. She is attending the University of Alaska Anchorage studying kinesiology. She plans to become a physical therapist and wants to help Fairbanks youth athletes to be their best.

She was judged on her regalia, a speech, and a talent. Moses taught the audience some ballet, and spoke of how her multiple heritages gave her a broad perspective on life.

Jessica Black, FNA board president and former Miss FNA, crowned Moses with the ivory and baleen FNA tiara and draped her in a beaded moosehide sash. Moses wins a $1500 scholarship to a school of her choice, jewelry set of bracelet, necklace and earrings by Lynnette Winfrey-Frank, a floral bouquet and $100 visa card.

The new Miss FNA is expected to participate in the World Eskimo Indian Olympics this July, and be present at FNA functions. She is to uphold the vision and mission of FNA.

Maliah Ganatta, the new FNA Princess, received a flower bouquet, $100 gift card and bracelet, necklace and earrings set by Lynnette Winfrey-Frank. She was given a moosehide sash, and is also expected to uphold FNA vision and mission, as well as make public appearances on behalf of FNA.

Ganatta was judged by her regalia. She is an Athabasca from Minto. Her grandmother, Catherine Dahl, made her moosehide dress, beaded slippers, and belt. Ganatta made her headdress, jewelry, and parka.

Walter Huntington is 21 months old Athabascan, and his parents are Jordan Tindall and Clinton Huntington. He wore a beaver fur trapper hat, chiefs jacket trimmed in moosehide, black velvet and black beaver fur. His boots were calf skin with beaver fur. Grandmother Ethel Jonas made all his regalia.

The little boy loves fruit, applesauce, french fries, moose meat and popcorn. He and his parents win a baby basket of goodies and $150.

The pageants have been on hiatus since 2020 because of COVID-19. The pageants took place during the FNA Annual Potlatch held mid-March 2023. This is the first time since 2020 when the events were placed on hiatus because of COVID-19. They have been an important part of FNA since the association began in the 1960s.

“We are proud of these young people who came out to represent their culture,” said Steve Ginnis, FNA executive director. “Thank you to all who participated in the pageants. We should be proud of this generation of Alaska Native young people.”