Yellowstone Mountain Renamed to Honor Native Americans

Mount Doane of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming will now be called First Peoples Mountain. On Thursday, June 9, the National Park Service announced the change after a unanimous vote by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Located in southern Yellowstone in the Absaroka Range, the 10,551-foot peak is rarely climbed due to its lack of trails but is considered one of Yellowstone’s most beautiful mountains and has the 793rd-highest peak in Wyoming

According to the park, Mount Doane was originally named after Lt. Gustavus Doane who led an attack in 1870 that is now commonly known as the Marias Massacre. In the Massacre against the Piegan Blackfeet, an estimated 200 Native Americans were killed, most of whom were women, children suffering from smallpox, and the elderly. Doane was proud of his slaughter and was said to brag about the incident until his death in May of 1892.

Yellowstone became the world’s first national park on March first, 1872, and Doane was a key leader of the expedition.

After 150 years of its establishment, Yellowstone consulted with 27 tribes and decided to rename Mount Doane. The mountain will now be known as ‘Peoples First’ to honor Native Americans. Piikani Nation Chief, Stan Grier, said in a statement on Wednesday, “This name change is long overdue. We all agreed on ‘First Peoples’ Mountain’ as an appropriate name to honor the victims of such inhumane acts of genocide, and to also remind people of the 10,000-year-plus connection tribal peoples have to this sacred place now called Yellowstone.”

After receiving recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Tribal Council, Yellowstone cast a vote to change the original offensive name. The park had support from the National Park Service and received additional votes from the Wyoming Board of Geographic Names. Although the change has not yet been reflected in the Domestic Names Geographic Names Information System, we will likely see the edit shortly.

In the future, the park may consider changing other offensive names.

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