Frances Emma Barwood on the Word "Squaw"
"When I first came to Phoenix 23 years ago and saw Squaw Peak, I thought how appropriate since that area had so much history they named it after the Indian wives and girlfriends. I am of Iroquois descent, I felt that it was a very special place to live near as I did. The main reason I liked the name was that my Dad always called my Mom 'his little squaw'. My Dad was very much in love with my Mom and they were married over 53 years when he died. I have never ever known my Dad to use a derogatory term or even say anything off color. In my dictionary the definition for 'squaw' means wife or girlfriend.
By coincidence, last weekend there was an old John Wayne movie "The Big Trail" made in 1930. It also starred Marguerite Churchill, Tyrone Power Sr. and El Brendel and was directed by Raoul Walsh. Do you think, since that was way back over 70 years ago when there was no obscenities in any movie, that the director would have allowed anything off color on screen? No way. Yet John Wayne called Marguerite his squaw as a COMPLIMENT!!!!
Whomever started this silly nonsense needs to stop twisting the history of words."
- Excerpt from an April 16, 2003 letter from Frances Emma Barwood, retired Phoenix City Councilwoman, to Governor Napolitano, denouncing the Governor's plan to change the name of Squaw Peak.
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