Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows is taking an unprecedented step in this era of racial justice and equity by removing the word “Squaw” from its name.
The word “Squaw” is considered a derogatory and misogynistic slur towards indigenous women. The resort has been facing pressure for years to drop the term, and is finally taking the right steps to move forward.
Ron Cohen, President and Chief Operating Officer released a press statement this morning to announce the news:
“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.”
Cohen acknowledged that Squaw Valley’s founders did not name the resort with malice or racist intentions, but that the resort must move on from the term.
So when will a new name be selected? Not for a little while. Cohen stated that the resort has enlisted a team to select a new name for the resort.
The name is expected to be announced in early 2021, and will be fully implemented next summer prior to the 2021-2022 ski season.
Cohen ended his statement with insight for why the name change is so important:
“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.”
Cohen also mentioned that Squaw Valley consulted with local indigenous tribes to reach the decision.
What would you like to see Squaw Valley change its name to? Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page.