Release: Ginger Sykes Torres Speaks Before The Committee On Natural Resources, Energy, & Water

February 18, 2022


February 18, 2022

Contact: Matt Grodsky
[email protected]


Release: Ginger Sykes Torres Speaks Before The Committee On Natural Resources, Energy, & Water

PHOENIX - This week congressional candidate for AZ01, Ginger Sykes Torres, spoke before the Committee on Natural Resources, Energy, & Water at the State Legislature. Sykes Torres made remarks in support of SB 1279, legislation that would remove the derogatory word squaw from public monuments in Arizona. The bill was voted out of committee. The next vote is on February 21st on the Senate Committee on Rules.

Full Remarks:

“Thank you, Chair Kerr, thank you Vice-Chair Shope, and Senators serving in this committee on Natural Resources, Energy, and Water for your time today. 

“My name is Ginger Sykes Torres, I am Navajo, and the issue being discussed today is one of great importance to me and my family. Being Native American in Arizona is not easy sometimes. Growing up, I knew that there was a mountain here in the Valley with this hurtful name. And I knew what that word meant. 

“It is a derogatory word ... for Native American women. I won’t go into details here ... but suffice it to say, no one in this room would want ourselves, our mothers, or our daughters referred to by this word or by its meaning.

“The mountain was eventually renamed in 2008, but the street leading up to it kept the old name. Driving that street with my kids, I feared that one day they would see the street sign and ask what it meant.

“I am proud to say that in 2020 and 2021, I was a leading advocate to rename that street in honor of Lori Piestewa, and I was honored to be invited by Mayor Gallego to the street renaming in recognition of my leadership.  I love the idea that my three young children will not live under a mountain with a hurtful name. But they will learn about and take pride in what Army Specialist Lori Piestewa meant to our whole community. 

“Thanks to the Department of the Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, this term will be removed from federal lands in our country--including over 60 places in Arizona. I support Senate Bill 1279, introduced by Senator Steele, because it will prevent this term from being used in the future within our wonderful state. 

“This bill will help ensure that future generations will not be ashamed at seeing this word in the names of important state features. It is a step toward empowerment for all residents. Thank you.”