Name Change for Squaw Valley Ski Resort?
15th July 2020
Last modified on July 19th, 2020
The American football team the Washington Redskins has announced this week it is changing its name and the Indian head logo. Pressure is mounting for Squaw Valley to follow suit.
Regional California tribes have asked for the name of Squaw Valley Ski Resort to be changed numerous times over the years, but with no success.
But the idea is gaining fresh momentum.
The resort is meeting with shareholders, including business and homeowners within the resort, as well as the local Washoe tribal leadership to get their input.
The Washoe Tribe Chairman, Serrell Smokey, said the name Squaw Valley is a constant reminder of efforts to disparage native people.
He wants a name change and has suggested “Olympic Valley”.
The resort held the Olympics in 1960.
The word “squaw” is seen as a derogatory term for Native American women.
It comes amid fresh thinking over racial injustice and inequality.
The word “squaw” is derived from the Algonquin language and is widely seen a misogynist and racist term to disparage indigenous women.
“That word is an epithet and a slur. It’s been a slur for a very long time,” said Vanessa Esquivido, a professor of American Indian Studies at California State University.
The decision of the Washington Redskins to change its name has brought the issue back on the agenda.
The resort is currently looking at the cost of a name change.
Removing “squaw” from the resort name would be a lengthy and expensive process said the Squaw Valley President & CEO, Ron Cohen.
The name appears on hundreds of signs and is on everything from uniforms to vehicles.