Colorado mountain renamed in honor of governor who led indigenous massacre | Colorado | ET REALITY

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US federal officials have renamed a Colorado mountain that was previously named after a disgraced state governor who led a massacre against indigenous people..

Members of the United States Board on Geographic Names voted to change the name of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky, at the request of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

The new name was approved Friday during a board meeting of the Oregon Council of Geographic Names Authorities. according to a press release of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

The new name has significance for both tribes. The Arapaho are known as the Blue Sky People, and the Cheyenne tribe holds an annual ceremony called Blue Sky. the associated press reported.

The mountain, a nearly 15,000-foot peak in southwestern Colorado, was previously named for John Evans, the state’s famous governor who instigated a massacre against indigenous people in the 19th century.

Evans resigned in 1865 for his role in the Sand Creek Massacre. During that massacre, more than 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne people were killed in Sand Creek, which is located in a southeastern region of Colorado.

The majority of those killed in the massacre were women, children and elderly people, the AP reported.

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Governor Reggie Wassana celebrated the name change as an important part of the “healing process.”

“This is a huge step, not only for the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, but also for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Tribe, the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and other allies who worked diligently to begin the healing process.” , bringing honor to a monumental and majestic mountain,” Wassana said in a statement published by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune.

Both tribes are now working to rename the Mount Evans Wilderness Area, which sits adjacent to the peak, to the Mount Blue Sky Wilderness Area.

The name change would require congressional action, the Associated Press reported.

While Mount Blue Sky’s new name has garnered widespread support, some Evans descendants disapproved of the name change, the Colorado Sun reported.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe also did not approve of the name, noting that “Blue Sky” refers to a sacred ritual and that the name change “would be considered exploitation.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis requested in March that the federal naming board approve the peak’s name change. The Colorado Sun reported that Polis’ request was part of a larger push to address the violence and discrimination faced by indigenous people in American history.

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