Hey Phoenix Mayor Stanton: What’s With “Squaw Peak Drive?”
Fallen American solider Lori Piestewa was, is, and will always be a hero. Period. She deserves to have any mountain named after her in Arizona.
But about a decade ago renaming Phoenix landmark Squaw Peak wasn’t just about honoring Ms. Piestewa. It was about eliminating the name “squaw,” a derogatory term to most if not all Native Americans.
It became a priority of then Governor Janet Napolitano who owed her 2002 gubernatorial election to the strong get out the vote effort undertaken by the “21 tribes” that spent massively to pass Arizona’s Indian gaming ballot measure that November.
So committed to the name change was the Democratic governor that former strongman staffer Mario Diaz undertook, shall we say, some rather serious political maneuvering to get it done. Aggressive or not that might have been the last effective political engineering by Diaz, but we digress. And we are confused.
If the word “Squaw” to recognize a peak was so offensive then, and we still live in an age when there is a growing opposition to an NFL franchise retaining the name “Redskins,” why does Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix illuminati still permit “Squaw Peak Drive” in the mountain’s shadow?
There the sign sits, prominent, contradicting Piestewa Peak.
What say you Mayor Greg Stanton? Councilman Michael Nowakowski? Councilwoman Kate Gallego? Councilwoman Laura Pastor? Councilman Daniel Valenzuela?