Register Groups Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Native Issues Remembering an American Indian hero Remembering an American Indian hero

Reply LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-21-2004, 11:56 AM   #1
Arena Director
Smokin' Ace's Avatar
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
Smokin' Ace has a reputation beyond repute
Smokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond reputeSmokin' Ace has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 4,121
Credits: 110.00
Savings: 0.00
Remembering an American Indian hero

Remembering an American Indian hero
An interview with Wayland Piestewa

Posted: January 19, 2004 - 11:18am EST
by: Mark Shaffer / Correspondent

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Wayland Piestewa said his family often sits around for hours on end talking about all the cross currents swirling around the memory of his sister, Lori.

Itís been one emotional roller coaster after another ever since Army Spc. Lori Piestewa became the first Native American woman killed in combat on foreign soil last March in southern Iraq while heroically trying to drive her humvee to safety through enemy forces in the city of Nasiriyah.

First, there was the gut-wrenching turmoil of Lori missing in action. Then, the sorrow of her death. That was followed by the pride of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano telling thousands packed into Tuba Cityís Warrior Pavilion for a memorial service that she would see to it that the offensive moniker of one of Phoenixís most prominent landmarks, Squaw Peak, would be changed promptly to Piestewa Peak.

Napolitano delivered on that promise, strong arming the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names, whose members she appoints, to rapidly change the name and not wait for the normal five years.

But now forces are aligning against the decisions Napolitano made last spring.

An Arizona House bill was introduced Jan. 12 that would remove control of the geographic and historic names board from the governorís office. The lead sponsor of the bill, Republican state Rep. Phil Hanson, along with 37 other Republican co-sponsors, hope to see quick passage of the bill so a new board can be appointed by the legislature. The goal is to have the name Piestewa Peak rescinded and Squaw Peak reinstated.

That follows on the heels of a City of Phoenix committee deadlocking on the issue of whether the surrounding recreation area of Piestewa Peak, which is still known as the Squaw Peak Recreation Area, should have its maps, trails and signs changed to Piestewa.

And then there are others, including some members of the Piestewasí own Hopi tribe, who say that the names of peaks in the distant Phoenix metropolitan area are irrelevant to their culture and that one of the mountains in the San Francisco Peaks, sacred to northern Arizonaís Indian tribes, should be changed to Piestewa Peak.

"Itís all very confusing, to say the least," Wayland Piestewa said. "Itís unfortunate for us because weíve been caught in the middle of all these things and we havenít had any input into any of the decisions."

For example, Piestewa said that his family met with relatives of other slain soldiers from Arizona in the Iraqi campaign and that all agreed it would be appropriate to name a peak after all the stateís soldiers killed during the conflict. But, that idea got lost in the shuffle when Squaw Peakís name, along with the nearby Squaw Peak Freeway, were changed to Piestewa.

Piestewa said that one member of the family attended the contentious meeting in Phoenix recently concerning the Squaw Peak Recreation Area and was "shocked about all the angry words that were spoken."

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board has received more than 400 comments on a Web site that it posted about Squaw Peakís name change, about evenly split between those who favor the Piestewa name change and those who oppose it.

Piestewa also said that he doesnít support the naming of one of the mountains in the San Francisco Peaks for his sister because "itís hidden on the northeast side of the range and you canít even see it in Flagstaff."

Although he said his family doesnít have any strong feelings pro or con about whether Piestewa Peak should retain its name, Wayland Piestewa said he felt that great resentment would be stirred among Indian tribes nationwide now if the name was changed back to Squaw Peak.

"My parents have been visiting tribes all over the nation since Loriís death and Piestewa Peak is a symbol of honor and pride among all Indian peoples," Wayland Piestewa said. "To change it now as some sort of quick fix would be met with resistance from across the country."

Piestewa also said that he hopes the media will be more considerate of the familyís feelings if more videotape of Lori in Iraq surfaces.

Two weeks ago, NBC aired tape of the suffering solder in an Iraqi hospital only minutes before she died in a bed next to her best friend, Jessica Lynch.

The decision to air the tape triggered a stiff rebuke from Wayland Piestewa, who labeled it "domestic terrorism" by "our own people wanting to make a quick buck off the misfortune of two beautiful young women."

Wayland also attacked the Bush Administration, army commanders and lawmakers who sanctioned the war in the familyís strongest anti-war statement yet since Loriís death.

"We know thereís probably more tape out there of Loriís last hours and we hope that the media outlets will think of us before they do something like this again," Wayland Piestewa said.
This article can be found at
Everything is gonna be alright!

Be blessed - got love???

This b me.....
Smokin' Ace is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Veteran's Day Smokin' Ace Archives 8 11-18-2001 10:46 PM
Indian Dancing Antelope Archives 15 06-07-2001 10:59 AM
American War Mothers MrRuminator Pow Wow Singing 0 02-14-2001 09:50 AM
Non-Indian pow-wows lngfthr Archives 48 09-17-2000 07:37 PM
INDIAN, AMERICAN INDIAN OR NATIVE? bluewolf Archives 32 07-03-2000 05:07 PM


Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

Join Today!

Your Guide to Native American Pow Wows Since 1996

Register For Free

Enjoy the benefits of being a member of!

Join our Native American online community focused on Pow Wow singing, dancing, crafts, Native American music, Native American videos, and more.

Add your Pow Wow to our Calendar

Share your photos and videos

Play games, enter contests, and much more!

New Threads

Pow Wow Calendar Search

Month: Year:



Featured Articles

Dance Styles