Momentum is constructing to correctly identify a distinguished landmark on a mountain within the Alberta Rockies as a result of its generally used nickname is racist and misogynistic.
The function, which has been identified for the reason that 1920s as Squaw’s Tit, is situated close to the summit on Mount Charles Stewart and could be seen from the mountain city of Canmore.
Two Alberta attorneys, Jude Daniels and Natasha Egan, have been working since 2014 to discover a formal identify for the landmark.
“(We) are simply disgusted by the identify,” Egan mentioned in an interview from Calgary. “Colloquially, individuals name it The Tit.
“So the racism was dropped, however the misogyny stays.”
The phrase “squaw” got here from the Algonquin language and as soon as merely meant lady, however the phrase has developed right into a time period to disparage Indigenous ladies.
Egan mentioned she and Daniels, who’s Metis and works with Aboriginal communities, have been chatting with the province and the Stoney Nakoda Nation to give you a standard Indigenous identify for the landmark.
They wish to suggest a reputation that honours lacking and murdered Indigenous ladies, she mentioned.
Two current makes an attempt
There have been two current makes an attempt to formally identify the landmark, however the Alberta Historic Assets Basis board rejected each.
Ron Kelland, a historic locations analysis officer and geographical program co-ordinator with Alberta Tradition, mentioned the primary suggestion used the second half of the present identify.
“For apparent causes, the board didn’t discover that acceptable,” he mentioned.
One other proposal urged the spot be known as Mom’s Mountain, however Kelland mentioned that was additionally rejected as a result of the board wished to pursue a standard or Indigenous identify.
“We now have been partaking with the Indigenous communities of Treaty 7,” he mentioned. “A few of the communities have been actively engaged and speaking to their elders after which the entire COVID factor occurred.”
Nobody from Stoney Nakoda may very well be reached for remark.
The derogatory nickname is utilized in a number of mountain climbing and climbing guides, on Google maps and on many path web sites — though Egan mentioned it has been modified on some. She and Daniels have been ready for a brand new identify earlier than addressing the difficulty with Google.
In an electronic mail, Google mentioned any native authority can request a reputation change or elimination.
The 2 ladies have not too long ago acquired assist from the City of Canmore.
“The identify which is usually used … has definitely been the identify that folks have used since I moved to Canmore within the mid ’70s,” Mayor John Borrowman mentioned at a current council assembly. “It is clear and evident that the identify is each racist and misogynistic.”
A number of different council members spoke in favour of giving the landmark an official identify.
“I’ve two daughters and it has come to their consideration as kids what the identify of that little nub is on that little mountain,” mentioned Coun. Joanna McCallum. “It was a tragic, disgusting and horrific day after I needed to clarify to them what it is called and that there isn’t a different identify for it.”
Borrowman added he finds it stunning the identify has by no means been addressed.
“If the Stoneys don’t have any conventional identify or no historic connection to that peak, it nonetheless must have a brand new identify dropped at it,” he mentioned.
Egan hopes to get related endorsement from the Municipal District of Bighorn, the place the mountain is situated.
Reeve Dene Cooper mentioned he not too long ago met with Daniels and expects to have a dialogue with the district’s council in coming weeks.
“It wants a proper identify chosen on the idea that every one different names are chosen,” Cooper mentioned in an interview. “We worth our relationship with our First Nation neighbours, and we consider respect is an motion phrase.”
Egan mentioned the push for an official identify has taken on a good stronger that means with ongoing protests over Black and Indigenous rights throughout the US and Canada.
“There’s been an awakening in our nation and south of us,” she mentioned. “We now have an actual alternative.
“It might be symbolic … nevertheless it’s vital. Phrases harm. Phrases matter.”
Kelland mentioned there is a coulee within the south that was renamed Ladies’s Coulee a number of years in the past. There’s additionally a mountain in Banff Nationwide Park named Stoney Squaw Mountain, which is being thought of for a reputation change.
In the US, California’s standard Squaw Valley Ski Resort introduced final month that it’ll change its identify as a result of the phrase is derogatory. The location was the placement of the 1960 Winter Olympics.