Story at a glance:
- Squaw Valley was renamed as Palisades Tahoe at California’s Lake Tahoe.
- ”Squaw” derived from the Algonquin language for “woman,” but it was long evoked as a “racist and sexist slur.”
- “It did not stand for who we are or what we represent,” the resort said.
A ski resort at California’s Lake Tahoe has changed its name because the origin of Squaw Valley was deemed racist and misogynistic.
For some time, Native Americans familiar with the slur have fought to have the resort renamed, and now the times have changed as of now Squaw Valley is Palisades Tahoe, The Guardian reported.
“More than one year ago, we came to the conclusion that it was time to change our name. The reasons were clear – the old name was derogatory and offensive,” the resort said in a statement. “It did not stand for who we are or what we represent. And we could not in good conscience continue to use it.”
The issue of the name “Squaw” Valley has been pointed out since the location hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is worth noting the inception of Squaw Valley started in 1949.
“Squaw” derived from the Algonquin language for “woman,” but as The New York Times reported, the word has been evoked as a “racist and sexist slur.”
“We have been in the area for thousands of years. Olympic Valley is within the ancestral homeland of the Washoe people. The word itself is a constant reminder of the unjust treatment of the Native people, of the Washoe people,” Darrel Cruz, director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Cultural Resources Office of the Washoe Tribe, said in a statement. “It’s a constant reminder of those time periods when it was not good for us. It’s a term that was inflicted upon us by somebody else and we don’t agree with it.”
The name change was met with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California congratulating the resort, calling it a “bold” decision, The New York Times reported.
The Times also reported that the 2020 series of protests, including the George Floyd protests that took over the world, was the catalyst for revisiting Native American names, from the “Redskins'' to the “Indians,” as well as removing Confederate monuments.
“It affects all Native people across the country,” Serrell Smokey, chairman of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California, said. “It was a term that was used to belittle others, mainly women, to dehumanize them so that it was OK for them in the eyes of the Americans to be abused, murdered, raped and turned into slaves.”
“It’s also a term that somehow along the way just became accepted.”
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