Squaw Valley Name Change

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
25,764
Location
Reno, eNVy
1598371449912.png
From Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows website:
SQUAW VALLEY NAME CHANGE
After extensive research into the etymology and history of the term “squaw,” both generally and specifically with respect to Squaw Valley, outreach to Native American groups, including the local Washoe Tribe, and outreach to the local and extended community, company leadership has decided it is time to drop the derogatory and offensive term “squaw” from the destination’s name.
Work to determine a new name will begin immediately and will culminate with an announcement of a new name in early 2021. Implementation of the name change will occur after the winter season concludes in 2021.
From the COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows:

Today is a difficult but exciting day in the long and storied history of Squaw Valley. I am pleased to announce our commitment to removing “squaw” from our resort name. The concerns about our name have been long discussed, but as we all find ourselves in a time of increased awareness and righteous demands for accountability, our leadership team has concluded we must move from discussion to action.

After extensive historical research, consultation with Native Americans (including the Washoe tribe, who are landowners in our community), and outreach to our local and wider community, our leadership has made the firm decision that it is time for our resort to move away from having our identity represented by a term that is deeply rooted in an offensive, demeaning and often violent history. The simple fact is that the word “squaw” is now widely accepted as a racial and sexist slur towards indigenous women, and we can no longer ignore the pain caused by perpetuating the use of this term, regardless of intent.

We want to be clear that we know the founders of our resort had no intentions of causing offense in choosing this name for the resort, nor have any of our patrons who have spoken this word over the last seven decades, since our grand opening on Thanksgiving Day in 1949. But as our society evolves, we must acknowledge the need for change when we are confronted with harsh realities. Having our name be associated with pain and dehumanization is contrary to our goal of making the outdoors a welcoming space for all people. I feel strongly that we have been given the rare opportunity to effect lasting, positive change; to find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.

What will this mean for you when you visit our resort? It will take some time for us to find the right name, and we are committed to doing this right, so you will not see immediate change. Behind the scenes, a team will begin work immediately on choosing a new name, which we will aim to announce in early 2021. We can’t feasibly implement mid-winter, so we will target summer 2021 for implementation. However, while the name of the resort will ultimately change, the things you love about Squaw Valley—that made you seek out our resort, join our mountain community and build cherished memories here—those will remain the same. This special place will always be the location of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the home of our beloved KT-22 chairlift and the legendary big mountain terrain where extreme skiing pioneers changed the sport forever, and the treasured mountain home for so many people who revere this amazing ski resort.

It can be jarring to face the stark ugliness that is embodied by the same word that names a place so magnificently beautiful, a place so many of us hold dear. By taking this action, we confront and acknowledge the hard truths, and we recognize that our love of this place and our cherished memories do not justify continuing to use such a divisive and hurtful word. Today we do our part to help retire this word to its place in history books. I am honored to lead the team responsible for putting us on this path, and as the resort president I am accountable for this decision. You are welcome to reach out to me to express your opinion, whether in favor or against, but please recognize that our decision is made and we are not looking back. Please join us as we move forward, together.

For more information on this decision, as well as the history surrounding the word “squaw,” please visit our website.

Ron Cohen
Mountain Views
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
Philpug

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
25,764
Location
Reno, eNVy
I think "Olympic Valley" just makes sense...that or Gnarlywood ;) . Where does this leave Squaw Creek and other businesses and locations that have "Squaw" in their names?
 

raytseng

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Posts
1,628
Location
SF Bay Area
To wear with your bargain NFL jacket from Washington and baseball cap from Cleveland?
lol, yep, but just in case someone missed my subtext and sarcasm; my faecetious post was to show how meaningless the name (and thereby the name change) is to me. The joke is I'm wearing it because it's a good deal not because I'm repping a name/team.
 
Last edited:

DoryBreaux

Friend for Hire on Powder Days
Industry Insider
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
776
Location
Sleeping in a mop closet
I think "Olympic Valley" just makes sense...that or Gnarlywood ;) . Where does this leave Squaw Creek and other businesses and locations that have "Squaw" in their names?
I can think of a lot more fitting names that I can't say here, one referencing a bodily function that 5 year olds find hilarious:duck:.
 

elemmac

AKA Lauren
Skier
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Posts
1,196
Location
The Granite State
I think "Olympic Valley" just makes sense...that or Gnarlywood ;) . Where does this leave Squaw Creek and other businesses and locations that have "Squaw" in their names?
I agree "Olympic Valley" is the obvious choice, but I'd like to see them put a bit more into it and choose a name that symbolizes what the original name was intended to do. Which, I assume, was intending to honor the indigenous women who lived in the valley prior to the modern development of the ski resort. So I would hope that they will work with the local tribes to choose a name that indeed honors the heritage and original history of the valley, rather than modern-times history.
 

textrovert

Reelin' in the years
Skier
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Posts
969
Location
Bay Area and Incline Village
I have to wonder... was this re-brand always planned for the combined Squaw+Alpine resort (especially, if/when the connector gondola gets built) and announcing it this was is just to get "points" and blunt any attacks?
 
Thread Starter
TS
Philpug

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
25,764
Location
Reno, eNVy
I have to wonder... was this re-brand always planned for the combined Squaw+Alpine resort (especially, if/when the connector gondola gets built) and announcing it this was is just to get "points" and blunt any attacks?
I think it is the masking of...
https://www.pugski.com/ams/squaw-valley-resort-abandons-california-express-lift.86/

Seriously, I think right now many lines are blurred. There is also a level of cynicalism with the Scott Gaffneys being behind this change too. Some times you have to do what you have to do, when it is the right thing and even if you are stepping on some toes.
 

Pequenita

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Posts
786
Might be some legal issues and royalty payments for using "Olympic"?
Yeah, the USOC can enforce on uses of "Olympic[s]", but I also think that if the geographic place name is Olympic [whatever], that is a different category. Like, no one is screaming about the name of Olympic National Park. I'm not a TM expert. Rather, the gymnastics center where I trained as a kid got dinged because it named itself "Olympic Gymnastics Training School," which it clearly was not. :)

But I agree - Olympic Valley something makes a lot of sense otherwise.
 

TheArchitect

Working to improve all the time
Skier
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Posts
1,541
Location
Metrowest Boston
I've never been to Squaw but everything I've ever read, heard or seen suggests that somehow using Gnar in the new name is appropriate. Unlikely to happen but it would be great to see.
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,301
Location
Boston Suburbs

quant

Don't worry; just go down.
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
395
Location
East Bay, N*, Heavenly, Kirkwood, & PCMR
Go woke, go broke. The financial history of those making business decisions based on politics is not good.

Really, who thought Squaw Valley was offensive? If you change Squaw, then rename New York City. Shall we discuss the history of the Duke of York and the Royal African Company?

If they want to rename the place, at least find some way to honor the Native Americans who were stewards of land for centuries. Washoe Valley gets my vote.
 
Last edited:
Top