Native Americans are looking to rename parts of Yellowstone National Park that are associated with hate, prejudice, and genocide.
Mt. Doane is named after Gustavus C. Doane, a U.S. Cavalry captain and explorer who is responsible for the massacre of 175 Blackfeet people. The other is Hayden Valley, named after Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden who called for the extermination of Native people who refused to obey federal laws.
A group of tribal leaders is pursuing an application to change the current names to ones that instead honor the region’s Native people — but the proposition is already facing opposition. Local officials voted against it in May and one legislator said it “is like trying to change history.”
This wouldn’t be the first time an insensitive landmark name has been contested. In 2013, Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona was changed to Piestewa Peak to honor the first Native American women killed in combat for the U.S.
“We’re not for names where individuals have been involved with genocide, where elders and children have been killed and there have been some traumatic events in our history that don’t meet standards of honor,” stated William Snell of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council.