Shifting cultural winds amplify calls to rename Colorado’s peaks, valleys and creeks
The statues are falling. The old guard is rapidly fading. And the names, they are a-changin’.
As centuries of embedded discrimination erupt in sea-to-plain calls for change, an atlas of geographic locations has appeared in the crosshairs. In Colorado, a host of peaks, valleys, creeks and mesas are poised for renaming as Gov. Jared Polis revives an idled panel tasked with studying renaming requests.
And those pleas are increasingly urgent as BIPOC Americans — Black, Indigenous and people of color — find their voices finally resonating in a rapidly shifting culture.
Highest on the list — literally — is a call to change the name of Mount Evans, named for Colorado’s second territorial governor who resigned in the aftermath of a cavalry-led massacre of nearly 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal members at Sand Creek in 1864.
Squaw Mountain and Squaw Pass, both in Clear Creek County, are high on the list, too, as are features in Delta County named by Mexican settlers who labeled a mesa and a creek with the Spanish word for the color black, or “negro.”
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