Stoney Nakoda celebrate name change of Alberta mountain landmark

Click to play video: 'Mountain loses racist and misogynistic name, returns to former title' Mountain loses racist and misogynistic name, returns to former title
The Stoney Nakoda women elders had the honour of revealing the new name of a mountain that for over a century has been known by a very disrespectful nickname. As Jill Croteau reports, the historic ceremony symbolized a return to the mountain’s original name – Sep 29, 2020

The Alberta government says a prominent landmark in the Rocky Mountains has been renamed in the spirit of reconciliation.

The offensive name for the feature on Mount Charles Stewart combines a derogatory term for an Indigenous woman and slang for a woman’s breast. The name had been used since the 1920s and many considered it to be racist and misogynistic.

The formation, visible from the mountain town of Canmore, will now be known by its original name Anu Katha Ipa, or Bald Eagle Peak. It is the traditional name used by the Stoney Nakoda Nation. Elders had already revealed the name change last September.

In a statement, Chiniki First Nation Chief Aaron Young said the Stoney Nakoda people have a “deep and lasting respect” for women in their community and are happy the racist term has been cast aside.

An official name change means the landmark will be updated on provincial and federal place name databases and maps.

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Read more: Alberta climbing community seeks change for ‘racist, sexist’ mountain, trail names

The fight to change the name went on for many years. Two Canmore lawyers had been working since 2014 to find a formal name for the landmark.

There were also at least two attempts to change the name but both were rejected by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation board. One contained the second half of the former name and another was not a traditional Indigenous name.

The derogatory nickname for the landmark has been used in several hiking and climbing guides, on Google maps and on many trail websites, although some sites have removed it.

A mountain in Banff National Park with a name Indigenous communities find offensive is also to be renamed. The province says it is working with Parks Canada and First Nations to come up with a replacement.

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