To better reflect the connection to its ancestral communities, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park will now be known as the “S’edav Va’aki Museum (photo courtesy of City of Phoenix Park and Recreation).

During a City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation board meeting held Thursday, March 23, the board voted to change the name of Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park to “S’edav Va’aki Museum” (suh-UH-dahf VAH-ah-kee). The board also approved the use of the marketing tagline, “Gateway to Phoenix Heritage.”

“This is an important step for our city,” said Kelly Dalton, chair of the Parks and Recreation board. “This new name reflects our commitment to honoring those who have shaped our culture and history.”

The name S’edav Va’aki (Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community spelling) or Central Vahki (English spelling) is an O’Odham name that reflects the connection the site has with the local O’Odham and Piipaash communities. S’edav Va’aki refers to the large platform mound (Va’aki) that is preserved at the site, and the central location of this ancestral village within the Salt River Valley and to the extensive canal system created by these exceptional engineers before Euro-Americans moved into the region.

“Words and titles matter. This name change will help to have a greater and more direct impact on how this significant ancestral site is interpreted,” said Shane Anton, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community tribal historic preservation officer.

The previous name, Pueblo Grande, is defined in the Spanish language and denotes the site as a “pueblo,” which is not how the O’Odham would describe their villages or habitation sites.

In fall 2023, the new S’edav Va’aki Museum will unveil its new logo during a “reopening” event. Learn more at


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.