OLYMPIC VALLEY (CBS13) — Sixty years ago, the Squaw Valley Ski Resort marked its place in history when the world gathered in the Tahoe National Forest for the Olympics.
Despite its permanent place on the world stage, the ski resort may see a major change after some say its name is highly offensive. The Squaw Valley Ski Resort has decided to once again consider a name change.READ MORE: Boy, 8, Hailed A Hero After Discovering Baby Sister Unresponsive In Pool
“It is a word that has more or less become a slur used to identify Native American women. By disrespecting them, they also disrespect the tribe as a whole,” Darrel Cruz, a member of the Washoe Tribe in California and Nevada, said.
Cruz says the word “Squaw,” is plastered all over the ski village, on street signs, creeks, nearby businesses, the ski resort itself, and it’s time for a change.
“I think this is good that we are putting the word out to educate the public that this word is no longer acceptable,” Cruz said.
The resort told CBS13 they’re working with community groups and local agencies to come up with a solution. But for some visitors, it’ll be a difficult change to make.READ MORE: Man Apologizes After Video Shows Street Vendor Attacked
“Squaw Valley has been here a long time, there’s history in regards to the Olympics,” Mindy Mohlenbrok, a regular at the resort, said.
Mr. Cruz’s argument is that his tribe was there well before the Olympics.
“We have been in the area for thousands of years. Olympic Valley is within the ancestral homeland of the Washoe people,” Cruz said.
Officially, the area is called Olympic Valley, and Mr. Cruz says it’s about time the resort makes the change too.
“Years ago our tribal people really never had a voice. We have an opportunity here to speak with the right people and have our voice heard,” Cruz said.MORE NEWS: Folsom Shuts Sutter Street Down To Open Businesses
The resort says they held a summit of stakeholders years ago but of course, the name never changed, and they’ve now decided it is time for them to revisit the topic.