Skiers who enjoy visiting a certain North Lake Tahoe resort should be prepared to replace their bumper stickers come early next year. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced earlier this month its intention to drop “squaw” from its name. This is the latest name-change announcement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in June, which spurred a general move toward better accountability and inclusiveness in our society as a whole.
SKI applauds this decision made by company leadership after extensive community outreach, including dialogue with the local Washoe tribe.
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“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in a statement. “While we love our local history and the memories we all associate with this place as it has been named for so long, we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive. We will find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past, and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”
For context, “squaw” has long been considered a racist and sexist slur against Native American women, especially when used by non-indigenous people. The matter had been brought to the resort’s attention on and off for years, but current events finally expedited a decision.
A renaming committee is working alongside resort leadership, and a new name will be announced early next year. For more info on the name-change timeline, as well as the etymology of the word in question, check out the resort’s page about the change.
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