When the Black Lives Matters movement began growing like a tsunami, it wasn’t just Black people who finally started benefiting from it. It’s made those who’ve been raised within privileged lifestyles take a second look at other things that need to be changed. As a society, we realize that names can be unnecessarily hurtful and changing them is a good thing.
The latest to make that kind of change is a popular ski resort in California – Squaw Valley.
Squaw Valley Sky Resort opened in the 1940s and was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It’s enjoyed popularity for decades but in mid-2020, the owners acknowledged that using the term “squaw,” a derogatory ethnic and sexist slur against female Native Americans, was neither ethical nor necessary.
So, just as the Washington Redskins plan to change their name (thank-you for intervening, FedEx!), so will Squaw Valley. From Ron Cohen, President and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows:
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. 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 offensive. We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur. We will find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past, and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land. While the resort name will change, this special place will always be the location of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the home of our beloved KT-22 chair lift, the place where extreme skiing pioneers changed the sport forever, and the beloved mountain home for so many people who revere this amazing ski resort.”
A new name has not yet been chosen, but a team has been set up to make that decision. The plan is to announce the new name in early 2021, with implementation to follow after the conclusion of the 2020-21 ski season.
Because progress! 🙂
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary