The largest resort in California ski country has changed its name after consulting with local Native American groups.
The 72-year-old Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, has announced that it will be renamed Palisades Tahoe.
The term “squaw” is considered misogynistic and racist toward indigenous North Americans’ women.
The resort stated that it “could not continue to use” the term “in good conscience.”
“At the end of the day,” Palisades president and COO Dee Byrne wrote in an open letter on Sunday, “”squaw” is a hurtful word, and we are not hurtful people.”
Ms. Byrne stated that by the start of the 2021-2022 ski season, all signage and merchandise bearing the organization’s previous name and logo would be removed.
She admitted that the rebranding would “take some getting used to,” but that it would better reflect the company’s identity and values.
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The resort stated in a statement that it had conducted extensive historical research and held public consultations, particularly with the local Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
Washoe Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey praised the move on Sunday, calling it “a positive step forward” and “a day that many have worked towards for decades.”
For years, Native American communities in the United States have lobbied to have the derogatory term removed from geographic locations and place names. The requirement for a name change has been enacted into law in seven states.
The word has reportedly been used to demean Native women as immoral sex objects.
Following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, several cities and institutions have reconsidered controversial names.
A National Football League team and a Major League Baseball team both dropped the words “Redskins” and “Indians” from their names late last year.
After it was revealed that the name Patrick’s Point was derived from a homesteader accused of murdering Native women, a state park in California named Patrick’s Point may soon revert to its original tribal name, Sue-meg.