Yellowstone peak's RENAMING over 'offensive' name divides internet: 'Not enough'

Peak was named after explorer Gustavus Doane, who 'helped lead a massacre where hundreds of Piegan Blackfeet men, women & children were slaughtered'


                            Yellowstone peak's RENAMING over 'offensive' name divides internet: 'Not enough'
Yellowstone Park's Doane Peak has been renamed First Peoples Mountain (Michael Smith/Getty Images and Wikimedia)
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During the first week of June 2022, the National Park Service announced that the Yellowstone National Park's Mount Doane is going to be renamed to something less 'offensive'. The agency confirmed on Thursday that they will rename this mountain at America's first national park to First Peoples Mountain.

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The US Board on Geographic Names voted unanimously, 15-0, affirming the decision. The mountain is situated at approximately 10,000 feet east of Yellowstone Lake. Originally, it was named after iconic explorer Gustavus Doane. But a decision to rename it was taken after it was revealed that he may have helped lead a massacre of indigenous people.

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A tweet read, "Yellowstone National Park is renaming one of its largest mountains to honor Indigenous people after research revealed the man it was named after helped lead a massacre where hundreds of Piegan Blackfeet men, women & children were slaughtered."

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The renaming has divided the internet. One said, "Every 50 years they need to rename everything. Unless named after Plants, animals, birds or insects."

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Another suggested, "My opinion only, but I don't think any geographic feature should be named after anyone other than the people and tribes who have occupied the land since time immemorial."

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Another was of the opinion, "If you are white and have ancestry here going back just a few generations, you are related to someone who took part in an atrocity against the indigenous. If not directly, with concurrence and support. This is a debt that must be paid, it is not wiped out by time."

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Another simply asked, "So, when are they going to give the whole mountain back to the First People?"

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This user said, "Recognition is a good first step, but it’s not enough by itself."


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Gustavus Doane the Explorer

Doane was born in Illinois in 1840 and he grew up in California. Once he was enlisted in the 'California Hundred', he was absorbed by a federal volunteer of the Second Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry. After attaining the rank of sergeant by 1864, he resigned to accept a commission as a lieutenant with the first regiment, Mississippi Marine Brigade, according to Montana State University. 

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Then he was appointed mayor in Yazoo City in Mississippi in 1867. This was followed by him becoming the second lieutenant in the Second US Cavalry. He served for the following 24 years. The agency wrote, "During what is now known as the Marias Massacre, at least 173 American Indians were killed, including many women, elderly Tribal members and children suffering from smallpox. Doane wrote fondly about this attack and bragged about it for the rest of his life."

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