The Squaw Valley Ski Resort in California is changing its name after determining that the word “squaw” is an offensive term.
Consultations with Native American groups and the local and extended community pushed the resort to change its name, which is a racist and sexist slur used to refer to Native American women.
The word derives from the Algonquin language, and once simply meant “woman,” but has changed over the years to become a derogatory term used to denigrate Native American women.
Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said in a statement, “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. While we love our local history and the memories we all associate with this place as it has been named for so long, we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is offensive. We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur. We will find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past, and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”
A new name hasn’t yet been decided, but is expected to be announced in early 2021.