California ski resort changes name to avoid offending Native American women

Amy Christie

A popular ski resort went through a rebranding strategy that resulted in a name change to get rid of a “derogatory and offensive” slur referring to Native American women. The resort will be known as Palisades Tahoe Resort from now on.

What are the details?

The resort management decided to give up its previous name, Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The rebranding initiative took a year, and it wasn’t easy at all to come up with a new name that would still be a highlight for tourists, according to Insider.

“The reasons were clear — the old name was derogatory and offensive. It did not stand for who we are or what we represent. And we could not in good conscience continue to use it,” the resort stated on Monday.

Taking on the task to find a new name meant hard work and dedication to keep the connection to the place’s traditions and legacy.

“We spoke extensively to the local community, heavily researched local history, and went through countless rounds of creative exploration. We dug hard and deep to find a name and identity that would do justice to this place and its legacy. No matter how far we pushed, we kept coming back to something close to our hearts. A place that has helped define not only our mountain and the people who call it home but the sport itself. We are very proud of our resort’s new name. It encompasses both of our mountains, captures the individuality of our people, and welcomes all guests to take part in our new chapter,” the statement concluded.

The resort is in the Olympic Valley, 200 miles away from San Francisco in the Lake Tahoe region.

The term “squaw’ meant “woman” in the past, but over time it has turned into a racist way to refer to Native American women.

“The word itself is a constant reminder of the unjust treatment of the native people, of the Washoe people. It's a constant reminder of those time periods when it was not good for us. It's a term that was inflicted upon us by somebody else and we don't agree with it,” Washoe Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Darrel Cruz stated.

Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey believes that the name change marks a “positive step forward” and said that the Washoe people honor the consideration shown by this decision.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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