Two Views Of The 'Peak'
Renaming peak a dishonor
Here we go again, wanting to blast the Piestewa Peak name.
As a member of the Navajo Nation, I am proud of this young lady’s service to her country. You rarely hear the American Indians expressing their opinions. We take a back seat and listen while someone makes decisions for us.
The Southwest Indians may not know what the meaning of “squaw” meant but the Plains Indians do. There is a slang name or name that describes the female genitals in every culture. This name is derogatory to all Native American women. Which culture would like to have their peak a slang name?
Leave the name Piestewa and let us remember Lori with her name on the peak. After all, she is our Native American woman with a name that does not have a derogatory meaning except honorable.
Florine Benally Marcell, Wickenburg
This “letter to the editor” appeared in the January 19th edition of the newspaper.
Revert to original ‘Phoenix peak’
As a native of Phoenix, I am saddened by the increasing ugliness of the Piestewa Peak vs.Squaw Peak dispute.
As a professional magician, I would like to vanish this problem, so I respectfully offer the following information and a suggestion.
The Aug. 23, 1951 issue of The “Phoenix Gazette” carried an article by Phoenix historian James M. Barney who said that the earliest cartographers in the Salt Rover Valley clearly gave the name Phoenix Peak to the mountain which local residents later erroneously called Squaw Peak.
In fact, there was indeed a “Squaw Peak on those early maps, but it was a relatively small rock formation later popularly called the Praying Monk, slightly west of the “camel’s head” on Camelback Mountain.
If our government would go though due process to change Piestewa Peak to Phoenix Peak, we would enjoy these benefits. (1) It would eliminate “Piestewa”, which many residents feel was unfairly forced upon them. (2) It would eliminate “Squaw” which deeply offends our valued Native American citizens and (3) It would return the correct, perfectly logical “Phoenix Peak” to the mountain which we hold dearly in our affections.
Abracadabra! Everyone should be happy!
Lawrence Parsons, Phoenix
This “letter to the editor” appeared in the January 25th edition of the newspaper.
I’m certain there will be many more letters to appear before this issue is resolved – bobbie.