Someone asked me the other day if I had climbed the Squaw’s Tit and it seemed so bizarre that folks still call it by such an offensive name. The names of mountains matter and we’ve been calling a number of peaks by the wrong name for years.

Take Ha Ling, once called the Bee Hive and later known as Chinaman’s Leap and Chinaman’s Peak before the name was officially changed to Ha Ling, named after the first person to climb it in 1896. Did you know Ha Ling climbed it as part of the Double Yang Festival in his home province of Hunan in China? For more on that see here.

And did you know that Ha Ling is part of the Ehagy Nakoda Range, along with Canmore Wall, Ship’s Prow, Lawrence Grassi and Miner’s Peak? As locals, we should know what these peaks are named and why. Take Cascade Mountain, it was called Mini Hapa (which means “where the water falls”) by the Stoney and Nipikayokitiw (which means “large falls”) by the Cree.

It appears on Instagram here

Banff mountain guide Joe McKay has tried for years to have the peak renamed to one of its original titles. Cascade Mountain is said to have been named by James Hector in 1858 due to the cascading of water that flows down the east face. And Cave and Basin in Banff was called Nato-Oh Siskoom by the Blackfoot, who regularly visited the hot springs.

Tunnel Mountain in Banff might soon be named Sacred Buffalo Guardian. Bill Snow with the Stoney Tribal Administration said, “The meaning of a lot of places have been glossed over. There’s a lot of important places where the names don’t reflect the true meaning.”

The renaming of peaks isn’t a local issue, mountains around the world are constantly being renamed, stripped of their colonial names for their more historic ones. Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak in Alaska, was officially renamed Denali by President Obama. And in Yellowstone, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is hoping to change Mount Doane to First Peoples Mountain. In Squamish, locals had the Squaw climbing cliff officially renamed to Slhanay.

Top alpinist Colin Haley has long promoted changing the names of mountains back to their originals and suggest we rename Mount Robson, the Rockies’ highest peak, back to Yuh-hai-has-kun (which means “mountain of the spiral road”). The Instagram account @IndigenousGeotags allows users to tag mountains with indigenous names. Squaw’s Tit is a mountain ridge west of Canmore, near Sir Charles Stewart Mountain.

It does look like the mountain has a nipple and the feature is part of a larger landscape that looks like a woman laying down. It’s an unofficial name that appears in guidebooks and is used by locals. Naming a peak is a long process and in 2017 there was talks of officially renaming it.

In the meantime, let’s just call it something else, like anything else. How about Grey Jay? They’re everywhere, they’re our new national bird, it’s superior to what we call it now and we’ve named enough features after goats. Or if we must, whatever, call it the Goat’s Tit. Just anything else than what we’re calling it now. – Written by Gripped editor and Canmore local and author Brandon Pullan for Bow Valley Crag and Canyon‘s opinion column.

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On the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon Nation Park, remember that we as Americans visit this place not just as tourists but also as occupiers on the homelands of indigenous nations. Indian removal is not just history, it is a contemporary reality that is the foundation of everything we do on public land and that Native nations continue to confront everyday. These are the Hopi, Yavapai, and Diné names for the Canyon. Honor this reality by supporting Native owned businesses when visiting the park and supporting greater Native management and resource sovereignty for tribes on a policy level. #publiclandisnativeland • • • #indigenous #honortheearth #indiancountry #nativeland #publicland #decolonize #wilderness #activism #nationalparks #nativepride #landscape #travel #socialjustice #adventure #natureporn #naturegram #idlenomore #greettheoutdoors #keepitwild #getoutstayout #environmentaljustice #nativeamerican #resist #grandcanyon #arizona #hiking

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