- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 19, 2003

PHOENIX (AP) After prodding from the governor, a state board has decided to rename a prominent mountain peak after an American Indian servicewoman killed in Iraq.
Some members of the Arizona Geographic and Historic Names Board had resisted Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano's push to rename Squaw Peak in honor of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, noting that federal policy requires that people be dead five years before their names can be used on geographic features.
But one critic resigned, and chairman Tim J. Norton whose resignation Mrs. Napolitano had sought was a no-show when the rest of the board voted 5-1 Thursday to rename the Phoenix landmark Piestewa Peak.
State maps and records are affected by the decision, which also serves as a recommendation to a national board to change the name on federal maps and documents.
"For the purposes of Arizona, the name is Piestewa Peak," said Tim Nelson, general counsel for the Democratic governor.
Pfc. Piestewa a Hopi from Tuba City, in northern Arizona is the only American servicewoman to die in the war. She was among nine members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company killed when their unit made a wrong turn near Nasiriyah and drove into an ambush March 23. Six members of the 507th were taken prisoner but rescued.
In renaming Squaw Peak, Mrs. Napolitano sought to honor Pfc. Piestewa (pronounced py-ESS-tuh-wah) while removing a name many Indians find offensive. Indian lawmakers and others had tried repeatedly to remove the word "squaw" from the names of Arizona landmarks but did not garner enough support.
"Lori's legacy will live on," said Delia Carlyle, vice chairman of the AK-Chin Indian Community, about 60 miles south of Phoenix.
Lloyd Clark, the only member on the state board to vote against the change, said the point of the waiting period is to let emotions settle before making a decision.
Richard Pinkerton resigned from the board Thursday after 19 years of service, saying he refused to "prostitute my integrity in the interest of satisfying a certain political venue."
In his resignation letter, Mr. Pinkerton said the board should not be at the "governor's beck and call."

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