Squaw Valley Resort, Acknowledging ‘Racist and Sexist’ Name, Changes It

The historic Squaw Valley ski resort in Lake Tahoe has been renamed Palisades Tahoe as a result of “squaw” is a “racist and sexist slur” whose use is “contrary to our company’s values,” resort officers introduced Monday.

Following the protests for racial justice after George Floyd’s homicide, the resort researched the time period, held a neighborhood assembly, and performed surveys that elicited greater than three,000 responses.

All of that pointed to what Dee Byrne, the president and chief working officer of the resort, stated in an interview was a simple name: Sooner or later, the title needed to go.

“‘Squaw’ is a hurtful term, and we’re not hurtful people,” Ms. Byrne stated on Monday. “Palisades Tahoe totally aligns with our values and what we want to represent to the marketplace going forward.”

The new title, the corporate stated, was impressed by the terrain’s granite faces and chutes, and honors the resort’s historical past as a house to “freeskiing pioneers, Winter Olympians and cultural icons across more than seven decades of ski history.”

In asserting the title change, the resort stated that “times change, societal norms evolve and we learn things we didn’t previously know.”

The time period “has been the subject of extensive research and discussion,” the corporate’s assertion added. “There is now insurmountable evidence, dating back to the early 1800s, that the word ‘squaw’ has long been used as a derogatory and dehumanizing reference to a Native American woman.”

The resort, in Olympic Valley, Calif., opened in 1949 and hosted the 1960 Olympics. It is the biggest within the snow-rich Lake Tahoe area, with 6,000 skiable acres throughout two mountains, in keeping with its web site. It sees 400 inches of common annual snowfall.

“This is a big, big statement we’re making in our industry,” Ms. Byrne stated, “and we hope that other businesses will follow suit.”

The title removing comes amid a broader cultural reckoning over the racist symbolism on the town squares, state parks, universities and sports activities franchises. The effort gained momentum after a lethal white supremacist rally in 2017 in Charlottesville over a Confederate monument of Robert E. Lee, and was additional energized by the killing of Mr. Floyd.

Native American teams have lengthy protested the usage of Indigenous nicknames and mascots, however the motion gained new allies amid the nationwide protests in opposition to racial injustice.

On Monday, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California counseled the resort for the title change, calling it a “bold” choice.

“They were willing to do it,” Serrell Smokey, the tribe’s chairman, stated in an interview. “They were not forced. Of course the tribe pushed them for many years. But the fact that they were willing to do the right thing and get rid of this very hurtful word that was in the name of their resort was just really bold.”

Mr. Smokey stated that Native American communities throughout the nation had been working for years to take away “squaw” from place names.

“It affects all Native people across the country,” he stated. “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.”

He added, “It’s also a term that somehow along the way just became accepted.”

Last 12 months, beneath strain from company sponsors, the Washington soccer workforce introduced it could drop its “Redskins” title and Indian head emblem, a compelled turnaround by the workforce’s proprietor, Daniel Snyder, who for years had stated that he would by no means change the title. In December, Cleveland’s baseball workforce introduced it could abandon the title “Indians.”

Other out of doors areas in California can also quickly get a reputation change. California State Parks has proposed altering the title of Patrick’s Point State Park, in Humboldt County, to Sue-meg State Park, to replicate the unique space title utilized by the Yurok folks, in keeping with the state Parks Department. The park was named after a homesteader, Patrick Beegan, who was accused of murdering Native Americans, the division stated.