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Friday, October 7, 2022

The Name of the Man Who Led the Massacre Has Been Removed From Yellowstone Mountain

According to the National Park Service, a mountain in Yellowstone National Park that was previously named after an Army officer who led a massacre in which at least 173 Native Americans were killed has been renamed in honour of America’s Indigenous people. The original name of the mountain was in honour of the Army officer who led the massacre.

Mount Doane is a peak in the southeast corner of Yellowstone National Park that is 10,551 feet tall. On Thursday, the National Park Service announced that the United States Board on Geographic Names had decided overwhelmingly to rename the mountain. According to a statement released by the Park Service, the mountain will henceforth be referred to as First Peoples Mountain.

The mountain was named after Gustavus Doane, an Army commander and explorer who aided in leading an assault in 1870 that was later dubbed the “Marias Massacre” as a reprisal to the supposed death of a white fur merchant. This attack became known as the Marias Massacre. In his tales of the discovery of the territory that would ultimately become Yellowstone National Park, which took place two years after the assault, he bragged about the attack.

It was announced that the name would be changed as the Interior Department, which is led by Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve in a cabinet position, is taking steps to remove names that are discriminatory and offensive from geographical features found throughout the national park system.

This year, the Department of the Interior made the announcement that it will remove the derogatory epithet “squaw” from 660 geographical places, such as mountains, rivers, and lakes. The Park Service was given the instruction to perform the same actions. In order to rename various landmarks, a task committee was established.

Mount McKinley in Alaska, which was formerly known as Denali, was rechristened as Mount Denali by the National Park Service in the year 2016. This name, which honours Alaska’s Indigenous people and derives from the Koyukon language and means “the big one” or “the lofty one,” pays homage to the indigenous speakers of that language. According to the National Park Service, former President William McKinley, after whom the peak was named in 1896, had very little relationship to the state.

The original name of First Peoples Mountain was changed after receiving feedback from 27 different tribes located in the states of Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota that have historical ties to Yellowstone. At least 11,000 years have passed since indigenous people first settled the area that is now Yellowstone National Park. According to Smithsonian Magazine, when the park was founded in 1872, the government forced them out of their homes and into the surrounding area.

Since the adjustment was made public, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, William Snell, has said that the group has been contacted by tribes in California inquiring about the possibility of repeating the procedure as a means of redressing additional wrongdoings.

According to the statement released by the Park Service, it is very unlikely that the renaming of First Peoples Mountain will be the last of its sort.

According to what was said, Yellowstone “may explore changing the names of additional disparaging or inappropriate features in the future.”

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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