A tribute to the visionaries who shared wisdom and gave selfless service for the betterment of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community were honored June 12, a few days before the SRPMIC Community Day on June 14.
The concept for the wall came from the University of Arizona Women’s Plaza of Honor when they requested an honoree from the Community, at the time the tribal council realized they couldn’t just pick one candidate and ended up picking eight women from the Community who were recognized by U of A back in 2012.
As a result, SRPMIC President Diane Enos requested that something be done for SRPMIC enrolled women and men who gave selfless service locally and as a result, the honor wall concept emerged. Past generations have wanted a mural or some recognition to our people, but it wasn’t untill recently the Community was able to come up with the idea, create a committee and start the project.
The Honor Wall Committee consisted of Roberta Carlos, Doreen Andrews, Elaine Cabrera, Berdina Burke, Jeffery Fulwilder, Denelle Prieto, Toni Harvier, Gene Andreas, Roxy Andrews and Willford Charlie.
The project took two years to complete.
“We came up with the wall mural as a tribute to our past and present distinguished Community members. The committee picked a number of people who have done good for the Community,” said Harvier.
On June 12, outside the Two Waters Complex on the southwest corner of the Council Chambers a private family unveiling ceremony was held and on Saturday June 14, at the Community Day Celebration a public unveiling was held.
The committee thanked the tribal council for the support and funding for the project. The mural weighs 1500 pounds and took approximately nine weeks to complete.
This year the Community honored the late Alfretta Antone, Filmore Carlos, the late Leonard Carlos, the late Dorothy Lewis, the late Martina Schurz, Paul Smith, Sr., Edmund Vest and the late Wenima Washington. Their names will be on the Reflections of Honor Wall for all to see and remember.
Honorees and family members were very touched by the Honoring Wall and had the following to say about the recognition.
“I’m very honored and thankful for the support from the people of the Community who elected me to be on the wall,” said honoree Edmund Vest.
Representing his father Leonard Carlos, Belford Carlos thanked the tribe and people of the Community.
“It’s just a great honor for me to be recognized and I appreciate the efforts everyone put into getting this together,” said honoree Paul Smith, Sr.
Each honoree and family representative received a plaque on behalf of the Community. Each year it is a goal for council to pick name(s) for the following year to go onto the wall in the future.
“I feel obligated to all the council members of the 1960s, I feel honored but I feel honored for them as well,” said honoree Filmore Carlos.
“I think she (Alfretta Antone) is smiling down knowing that her Community is honoring her, her family is very humbled and privileged because the Community thought to do this for her, everything that she did came from the heart so the Community could be better for the generations to come, this is beautiful,” said Janet Andrews.
“This is really a great honor, my mother (Dorothy Lewis) was a very simple and humble person and she didn’t like people to fight or call each other mean names,” said Lewis’ eldest daughter Glenda Lewis. “She would always say the worst thing you can call someone is stupid and so on, she always told us to hang on to each other and take care of our families and we continue to do this today.”