How Phoenix Is Honoring the Life of Lori Piestewa — July Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones | Posted on June 16, 2022

July 22 Bonus Episode 410

As we officially begin our Park and Recreation Month celebrations with the July issue of Parks & Recreation magazine, I’m thrilled to be joined on today’s bonus episode by a few of the people involved with the event highlighted in this month’s cover story. Our cover this month, which is the winner of our annual Park and Recreation Month cover contest, is a photo that was taken during the tribal dedication of the Ocotillo Ramada at Phoenix's Piestewa Peak.

Formerly known as Squaw Peak, the City of Phoenix renamed the mountain to Piestewa Peak, in honor of Lori Piestewa, who lost her life in the Iraq War in 2003. Lori, a member of the Hopi tribe, was the first Native American woman to her lose her life in combat while serving in the U.S. military.

I’m honored to be joined today by two members of her family, her mother Percy and son Brandon Whiterock, as well as Cynthia Aguilar, the director of City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation.

Tune in to the full conversation below to learn more about Lori, this dedication, and how this space is providing inclusive recreational opportunities for the community. You’ll also learn:

  • How this dedication to honor Lori’s life came together
  • What it means for Lori’s family to be able to honor her life in this way
  • Why it was critical to ensure Piestewa Peak is accessible
  • How Phoenix is making sure that the benefits of parks and recreation are inclusive for all people, regardless of their race, age, ability or identity
  • How the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is working with tribal communities to ensure they have a seat at the table and their voices are heard, and more!


Listen to the episode for the full story.


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