Meet Palisades Tahoe. The popular California ski resort formerly known as Squaw Valley Ski Resort dropped its name, which included a derogatory term for Native American women. Complex officials came up with the new nickname after a year of research amid a worldwide judgment on racial injustice.
The 72-year-old resort has a historic legacy in American skiing as the host site for the 1960s Olympic Winter Games. It is the largest and most challenging ski resort in the Lake Tahoe region, with 3,600 skiable acres on six Sierra Nevada peaks.
Joining a larger movement that propelled the Cleveland Indians to become the Cleveland Guardians and the Washington Redskins to become the Washington football team, the renaming of Palisades Tahoe addresses a history of colonialism and oppression against Native Americans. and other people of color.
“Over a year ago, we came to the conclusion that it was time to change our name,” according to a statement posted on the station’s website. “The reasons were clear – the old name was derogatory and offensive.” After speaking at length to the local community, “we dug hard and deep to find a name and identity that would do justice to this place and its heritage.”
Native North Americans consider the word “squaw” to be both misogynistic and racist, experts say. The word, derived from the Algonquin language, was used by white settlers as an approximation of “woman.” But over the generations, the term has evolved into a misogynistic and derogatory term used towards Indigenous women.
“The word itself is a constant reminder of the unfair treatment of the native people, the Washoe people,” said Darrel Cruz, of the Washoe Tribe Historical Preservation office. “It’s a constant reminder of those times when it wasn’t good for us. It is a term that was inflicted on us by someone else and we do not agree with it.
“It was the right thing to do and I think it will make a difference,” said Palisades Tahoe President and COO Dee Byrne. “I think we are going to be seen as a more welcoming and inclusive resort and community”
“This name change reflects who we are as a ski resort and community – we have a reputation for being progressive and revolutionary when it comes to skiing and snowboarding exploits,” Byrne said. “We have proven that these values go beyond snow for us. “
Ultimately, the name change was inevitable. “It didn’t represent who we are or what we stand for,” the statement said. “And we could not in good conscience continue to use it.”