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Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows To Change Racist And Sexist Name

A sign that has 6 hoops at the top and says, “Squaw Valley USA International Mountain Resort.”
Trevor Bexon
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Olympic rings at the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort in California on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced recently that it's changing its name, which has drawn criticism from some Indigenous leaders for decades.

There has been some debate about where the word 'squaw' originates from. In the past, it was likely a term used to refer to young women, but tribal communities and activists have argued that it was appropriated by non-Native people. Some argue that the slur is racist, sexist, and has long been used as a derogatory and dehumanizing reference to Indigenous women.

The slur isn’t the official name of the region anymore, it’s just the title of the resort, which will soon change.

The ski resort announced that it would be changing the name, and will release the new one next year.

Ron Cohen, the president and CEO, said he and others love the memories associated with the resort, but there’s, “Overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is offensive.”

Cohen added that the decision will not be imposed on the local businesses in the area, but he hopes they will be encouraged to change their name as well.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

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Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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