A ski resort near Lake Tahoe, California, announced Monday it’s changing its name after consulting with local Native American tribes and researching the history and etymology.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort will now be called Palisades Tahoe, as “the old name was derogatory and offensive,” according to a statement on the resort’s website. The issue at hand is the word “squaw” which is considered “racist and misogynistic” towards Native Americans, according to the statement. (RELATED: Washington Football Team Bans ‘Native American Inspired Ceremonial Headdresses Or Face Paint’ At Games)
The historic Squaw Valley ski resort in Lake Tahoe has been renamed Palisades Tahoe because “squaw” is a “racist and sexist slur” whose use is “contrary to our company’s values,” resort officials announced. https://t.co/HNGVaFlIPO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 14, 2021
The Washoe Tribe, whose ancestral lands include Olympic Valley where the resort is located, praised the name change.
“The word itself is a constant reminder of the unjust treatment of the native people, of the Washoe people,” said Darrel Cruz of the Washoe Tribe Historic Preservation Office. “It’s a term that was inflicted upon us by somebody else and we don’t agree with it,” he continued.
“We have a reputation for being progressive and boundary-breaking when it comes to feats of skiing and snowboarding. We have proven that those values go beyond the snow for us,” said Dee Byrne, Palisades Tahoe President and COO.
The change follows a slew of name changes over the past several years across the U.S., including several professional sports teams.
The name Lake Tahoe is also under scrutiny as it comes from a mispronunciation of the Washoe word for “lake,” according to NPR.