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Spokane removes reviled Indian fighter’s name from street

December 15, 2020 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Spokane City Council voted unanimously Monday to change the name of Fort George Wright Drive, a street named for a now-reviled Indian fighter.

The road will be called Whistalks Way in honor of a female warrior and Spokane Indian who played a role in the resistance against Wright in 1858.

“The Spokane Tribe worked very hard to involve tribal elders and the tribes that were directly affected by the acts of Col. George Wright,” said Margo Hill, a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

Wright led a violent campaign against Indian tribes to suppress their resistance as white settlers spread across the land of the Yakama, Palouse, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane tribes in the mid-19th century.

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The Spokesman-Review reports the road will be named Whistalks Way in honor of Whist-alks, a woman warrior and Spokane Indian who played a role in the resistance against Wright in 1858.

The Spokesman-Review reports Whist-alks, whose name means “walks in a dress,” was the wife of Qualchan, a Yakama sub-chief. She unsuccessfully attempted to free her husband from Wright’s captivity before his hanging.

A mile long, Fort George Wright Drive cuts along the Spokane Falls Community College campus in northwest Spokane.