TAHOE CITY (AP) – California’s popular Squaw Valley Ski Resort will change its name because the word “squaw” is a derogatory term for Native American women, officials announced Tuesday. The site was the scene of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

The decision was reached after consulting with local Native American groups and extensive research into the etymology and history of the term “squaw,” said Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

The word “squaw,” derived from the Algonquin language, may have once simply meant “woman,” but over generations, the word morphed into a misogynist and racist term to disparage indigenous women.

“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,” Cohen said.

Work to find a new name will start immediately and is expected to be announced next year, he said.

When settlers arrived in the 1850s in the area where the Sierra Nevada resort is now located, they first saw only Native American women working in a meadow. The land near Lake Tahoe was believed to have been given the name Squaw Valley by those early settlers.

Regional California tribes have asked for the name of the resort to be changed numerous times over the years, with little success.

The renaming is one of many efforts across the nation to address colonialism and indigenous oppression, including the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, a symbol to many of European colonization and the death of native people.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

Comments (2)
  1. Bert says:

    They should name it “Lily White Caucasian Valley.” There, fixed it.

  2. radarman67 says:

    IT’S SQUAW VALLEY!!!!!!!!!! YOU ASS WIPES!!!! I think it’s about time you people quit being whimps and quit bending towards LIBERaLS and people that don’t like history. I’ll visit squaw Valley and I worked in Squaw Valley for 5 years at the Village as a Chef an d supervisor also. We had housing for workers and it was a joy to work there.
    Now the last time I visited SQUAW I was shocked!!!!! No Housing but run down huts, shabby buildings in the back of the Village, Stupid looking employees that look like they were lost, the place was run down NOT kept up to standards.
    The owners must be a JOKE!!!!! I’ve seen him on TV and he doesn’t have SQUAW or ALPINE in good standings, he’s looking for money and profit NOT considering his guest or visitors. Making the Valley crowded with 3 BILLION DOLLAR upGrade isn’t the answer keeping the People who live in and around the Valley is important. You lose the people in the Valley and TRUCKEE, TAHOE CITY, and other towns plus skiers in the winter you lose money and make the Valley dangerous. More landslides,cut down trees, water shed,
    I have the 1960 Olympics Book and menues from the HOF BRU in the middle from the 60 Olympics.
    Do you know why really?? it was called SQUAW Valley??? The women were working the meadow NOT the fields, because the Braves were out hunting for deer or Bear and the women stay in camp to keep the fires burning ready for when the Braves come home. Do you know you have a family of Mountain lions that live on the upper ridge behind the village???? The Mother would come down and look for food when I worked there and I would feed her and her Cubs but that was in 1972-75 summer and winter time.
    You the OWNER don’t really know your HISTORY or don’t want to know!!!!!! JUST the MONEY!!! You fake it on TV with under Cover BOSS!!!! but you have to know ALL your employees and furnish them GOOD HOUSING, FOOD, a place they can go to at night to relax like when the BEAR PEN was there it was a hang out and you could unwind. NO MORE, IT”S gone HOW SAD!!!!!!!
    The Valley will never be the same, BORING,BORING, and I won’t spend $1,000 or more to go there in the winter I’ll go to KIRKWOOD or Mt ROSE and spend my money and time!!!!.

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