Clear Creek County considers Mount Evans name change

David Heitz

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Mount Evans.Mike Pretucci/Unsplash

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Georgetown, Colo.) After several years of being unable to decide on a moniker, those wanting to change the name of Mount Evans may finally have their chance.

The Clear Creek County Commission will discuss a proposal to rename Mount Evans "Mount Blue Sky" at its March 1 meeting.

"During this first meeting, each of the five proponents will have 10 minutes to present their proposal and five minutes to answer questions from the Clear Creek County Commissioners," the Mestaa'Ehehe Coalition said in an email to supporters. There will be no public comment at the meeting.

Instead, the commission will hear public comments at its March 8 meeting.

The coalition said the proposed name change has a lot of support. "Mount Evans is a stunningly beautiful Colorado landmark that deserves a name that honors its natural and cultural history," the email reads.

"The mountain is currently named in honor of John Evans, the former territorial governor of Colorado who authorized the indiscriminate murder of American Indians and was responsible for one of the worst massacres in American history, the Sand Creek Massacre."

'Mount Blue Sky' has ties to Arapaho, Cheyenne tribes

Hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho people died in the massacre. "Evans was roundly condemned, forced to resign in disgrace, and is not deserving of recognition," the email explains. "The Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and The Wilderness Society propose to rename Mount Evans as Mount Blue Sky.

This name would be significant to both the Arapaho, as they were known as the Blue Sky People, and the Cheyenne, who have an annual ceremony of renewal of life called Blue Sky."

Critics said the proposed name change snubs the Cheyenne people, who lost the most tribe members in the massacre.

Otto Braided Hair of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe agreed a name change is needed. But he proposed the 14,000-foot-plus summit be called "Mt. Cheyenne-Arapaho."

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

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