Yellowstone National Park announced that it is renaming one of its mountains, after learning the 'offensive' backstory of the mountain's namesake.

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Mount Doane, named after Gustavus Doane, has been renamed the 'First Peoples Mountain,' after a 15-0 vote by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), the federal body responsible for maintaining uniform geographic name usage throughout the federal government.

According to a press release from Yellowstone National Park, Gustavus Doane was an important member of the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition to the area in 1870, prior to Yellowstone becoming America's first national park. But he had a dark side.

"Research has shown that earlier that same year (1870), Doane led an attack, in response to the alleged murder of a white fur trader, on a band of Piegan Blackfeet," the release stated. "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."

Which is why the Wyoming Board of Geographic names, based on recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Tribal Council and with support of the National Park Service, opted to vote for a name change in June of 2022.

Yellowstone also reached out to all of the 27 Native American Tribes that have connections to the National Park for their input.

These include:

  • Assiniboine and Sioux
  • Blackfeet
  • Cheyenne River Sioux
  • Coeur d’Alene
  • Comanche
  • Colville Reservation
  • Crow
  • Crow Creek Sioux
  • Eastern Shoshone
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux
  • Gros Ventre and Assiniboine
  • Kiowa
  • Little Shell Chippewa
  • Lower Brule Sioux
  • Nez Perce
  • Northern Arapaho
  • Northern Cheyenne
  • Oglala Sioux
  • Rosebud Sioux
  • Salish and Kootenai
  • Shoshone–Bannock
  • Sisseton Wahpeton
  • Spirit Lake
  • Standing Rock Sioux
  • Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa
  • Umatilla Reservation
  • Yankton Sioux

So, 'Mount Doane' was changed to 'First Peoples Mountain,' and that change will be reflected in the Domestic Names Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) in the coming days.

The park also noted that it may consider name changes to other derogatory or offensively-named landmarks in the future.

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