Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows set to drop term deemed derogatory

Sierra Sun staff report

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced this week it will change the name of the legendary California mountain destination.

After research into the etymology and history of the term “squaw” — both generally and specifically with respect to Squaw Valley — as well as outreach to Native American groups, including the local Washoe Tribe, and outreach to the local and extended community, company leadership decided to drop the derogatory and offensive term “squaw” from the destination’s name, according to a news release.

Work to determine a new name is expected to arrive at an announcement of a new name in 2021. Implementation of the name change will occur after the winter season concludes in 2021.

“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen. While we love our local history and the memories we all associate with this place as it has been named for so long, we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive,” Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said in a statement.

“As much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, we must accept that these emotional attachments do not justify our continuing use of a word that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur. We will find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past, and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.

A renaming project team headed by resort leadership will oversee the selection of the new name.

“While the resort name will change, this special place will always be the location of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the home of our beloved KT-22 chairlift, the place where extreme skiing pioneers changed the sport forever, and the treasured mountain home for so many people who revere this amazing ski resort.”

For more information on the decision, as well as the history surrounding the word “squaw,” visit

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