Iconic Ski Resort Squaw Valley Will Change Name to Remove Racist Slur

words :: Ben Osborne

This morning the ski resort Squaw Valley, located in Lake Tahoe California announced that they would be removing the term ‘Squaw’ from their name, with a new name coming in 2021.

While details aren’t specific, after decades of disapproval and a recent groundswell in pressure to remove the racist slur, the resort has finally come to terms with a name change.

“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”, said Ron Cohen, the resort’s president and COO.

Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of this at the world-class resort. Photo :: Megan Michelson

The term ‘squaw’, derived from the Algonquin language, originally meant ‘woman’ but over the years became a racist term to refer to Indigenous peoples throughout North America.  As the story goes, when colonizers arrived in the area that is now Squaw Valley, they saw many Indigenous women there, prompting them to name the area.

To be more welcoming, conscious, and open-minded as an entire outdoor community is something we all need to work on, and small changes like this are, if nothing else, a symbolic step in the right direction. —ML