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Squaw Valley Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe to Change Name to ‘Racist and Sexist Insult’

 |cnn-travel Gt

(CNN) – Updated on September 13, 2021:

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has announced that it will change its name to Palisades Tahoe, effective immediately.

“Today marks the first day of the next chapter in our resort’s history,” the resort wrote in a post on its website and social media accounts. “Although the name is new, the legend and legacy of these valleys lives on, now as the Palisades Tahoe.”

The Washoe tribe was part of the decision-making process on the new name.

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The company decided to drop the derogatory name after contacting Native American groups, including the local Washoe tribe. When the resort was named in 1949, there was no intention to be derogatory or offensive, the Tahoe area resort said.

The word “squaw” was introduced by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and used by early fur traders and trappers, according to the University of Idaho. In today’s social context, Native Americans understand the term to be an insult.

“With the surge of recognition and responsibility that we are seeing across the country, we have come to the conclusion that the time has come to recognize that change must happen,” said Ron Cohen, President and CEO of the operation of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Although we love our local history and memories, we all associate with this place as it has been named for so long, we are faced with overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive.”

The hill station is known for its skiing and snowboarding and hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

“As much as we cherish the memories we associate with the name of our resort, we must accept that these emotional attachments do not justify our continued use of a word that is widely accepted as a racist and sexist insult,” Cohen said. “We will find a new name that reflects our core values, our historic past and respect for all who have valued this land.”

The process of determining the new name for the station should begin immediately. A name change project team led by the resort management will handle the selection and an announcement is scheduled for 2021.

CNN’s Lilit Marcus and Kelsie Smith contributed to this report.