Washoe Cultural Tour heads to Olympic Valley

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has announced a collaboration with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, bringing a cultural tour of the native people that occupied the area.

The Washoe Cultural Tour launched Monday, and offers guests a chance to hear from Darrel Cruz, director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Cultural Resources Office of the Washoe Tribe. Cruz will share stories of Native American history.

“We are glad to be forming this partnership between the Washoe Tribe and the ski resort. Partnerships are how to get things done,” said Cruz in a news release. “We look forward to this opportunity to educate people about the culture and history of the land they are recreating on.”

Tours will meet at the resort’s village, board the Aerial Tram, and head to High Camp. There, Cruz will share stories of the Washoe Tribe, local landmarks, and wildlife. Guests can also see artifacts that show the Washoe way of life. A Washoe exhibit is also being created at High Camp, for guests to learn more about the tribe and view artifacts every day, not just during tour dates.

Another theme of the tour will be why the Washoe people view the term Squaw as derogatory, and the resort’s plans to change the name.

“We first started talking with the Washoe Tribe just about a year ago, and in that past year we have begun to form a new relationship, one that will continue to grow as we find new ways to work together in the years to come,” said Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, in a news release. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Darrel on this and other projects, especially as we near the finalization of our new resort name. All of our lives will be enriched by Darrel’s reintroduction of Washoe history and knowledge to this valley.”

The Washoe Cultural Tour will be hosted once a month during summer operations. The next tour will take place Aug. 9. The event is free, but guests will need to purchase an Aerial Tram ticket to join, or use their 2021-22 Ikon Pass. Attendees who register in advance can purchase an Aerial Tram ticket at a special discounted rate at $19 per person. All ticket sales collected from the event will be donated to the Washoe Cultural Fund.

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