More about Bob and Mary Ann
Thank you for the Valley Life column about Bob and Mary Ann Sitts. Being out of the loop in Winthrop, I didn’t hear about the celebration. Please accept a small correction. The mules’ names were “Maybe” and “Won’t.” I always thought this was funny, as mules can easily live up to those names.
My mom, Anne Joslin Webster, was good friends with the Sittses for 40 years. Mary
Ann and my mother painted together. I loved visiting with them, as horses are big in my life, plus gardening and farming. Mary Ann would row us across the channel to check out her vegetable garden. Her eyes would light up whenever Bob would share stories about growing up half-wild with his Indian friend in the British Columbia woods. Their love of nature and each other was beautiful to share with them.
Cathy Upper, Winthrop
Change Squaw Creek’s name
When I was approached about this name change I said, “Finally, it’s about time!”
I’m writing in support of the name change from Squaw Creek to its original Methow location name Swar’am. This issue was brought up before and did not get past the research phase. This time it has been researched, there have been communication between the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT) tribal chairman, CCT History/Archaeology Program, CCT Language Program, U.S. Forest Service, Shafer Historical Museum and communities of the Methow Valley. News media have also reported the progress of the name change.
As a Methow Indian woman I want to respectfully ask for this name change. These women were my elders and I would like to speak for them: great-great-great grandmother tia,tqʷ; great-great grandmothers Chus-chutl Rose Marie and Seecumpeetl; great grandmothers Celian, Lucy Marie, Yapyowet and Christine Pe-el (Quah-nye); grandmothers Agnes Peters and Marianne “Mattie” George, Mary Miller Marchand; mother Elsie Grunlose Miller; and sister Roberta Miller Minnis.
Women have always had a contributing role in our society and need to be recognized for it. This name is disrespectful to a group of Indian women who don’t deserve it.
The Carlton Complex Fire of 2014 and the McFarland Creek Fire of 2015 caused devastation to us all — we all had to do what we could to fight the fires. But it became glaringly apparent that this Squaw Creek name is wrong! The fire crews found this name offensive and they called the 2015 fire “McFarland Creek Fire.” As part of our recovery from these fires, let’s change this name back to the Methow location name Swar’am. Make this name change for our future generations and may women be looked upon as standing next to everyone and not have to feel slighted by this word.
Methow people revered the land, so we had spiritual prayers/ceremonies when we hunted, fished and gathered from the land. The word “squaw” is belittling and derogatory to Indian women. It’s a word that is offsetting for such a beautiful part of our valley.
Cynthia L. Miller, Pateros