Yellowstone National Park changes ‘offensive’ mountain name
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (Gray News) – Yellowstone National Park announced a name change for a mountain in the park named after the leader of a massacre of Native Americans.
In a release, the park said Mount Doane was renamed to First Peoples Mountain after a unanimous vote by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), an organization responsible for maintaining geographic name usage throughout the U.S. government.
First Peoples Mountain is a 10,551-foot peak within Yellowstone National Park east of Yellowstone Lake in the park’s southeastern portion.
The park said the peak was previously named after Gustavus Doane, a member of the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition in 1870, taken before Yellowstone became the country’s first national park.
Historians say Doane led an attack in response to the alleged murder of a white fur trader earlier that year on a group of Piegan Blackfeet in what is now known as the Marias Massacre.
At least 173 American Indians were killed, including women, children with smallpox and elderly Tribal members, and historians say Doane had written proudly about this attack and bragged about it for the rest of his life.
Yellowstone National Park led a vote to change the mountain’s name after receiving recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Tribal Council, additional votes from the Wyoming Board of Geographic names, and with support from the National Park Service. The name was forwarded to the BGN in June 2022 for a vote.
The park says the name change will appear in The Domestic Names Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) in the near future.
The park says it also reached out to all 27 associated Tribes and received no opposition to the change.
Other derogatory or inappropriate names may be up for changes in the future, according to the park.
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