Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Earth haters move to block monument name change


With the Oglala Lakota Nation as an interested party Chief Arvol Looking Horse submitted a request to the US Board on Geographic Names saying the words “Devils Tower” are a malapropism.

The tower, part of the Black Hills Land Claim, is the remnant of an intrusive laccolith and has been called Mahto Tipila or Bear Lodge for centuries by the Lakota; but, earth hating Republicans are trying to end indigenous rights.
Tribes and their advocates believe the "Devils Tower" moniker disrespects the sacred nature of the iconic site in Wyoming. But efforts to change the name have never gained significant ground due to a policy at the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, or BGN, a federal body. But Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), the top Democrat on the committee, said tribal views about the name should be respected. He pointed out that no hearing has ever taken place on H.R.410. "I think we can all agree we would not want the word 'devil' tacked on to our places of worship," Grijalva said at the markup.
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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that if Confederate monuments are taken down, there’s no telling how far America might go —Native Americans could call for the removal of statues commemorating leaders who orchestrated violence against their ancestors. [Huffington Post]
In the occupied Black Hills of South Dakota descendants of European colonizers were apoplectic over the proposal to restore the state's highest point to its Lakota name, Hinhan Kaga or A Making of Owls but Black Elk Peak won the battle.

The South Dakota Board of Geographic Names spent more of their time on renaming the Squaw Humper Dam than on the proposal to change the name of a local jurisdiction to Oglala Lakota County.

Now, another tribal nation trapped in South Dakota wants to remove a wasicu's name from another county.
State Representative Shawn Bordeaux has begun a petition to change the name of Todd County to Sicangu Oyate County. Needing only 708 signatures at the time of the writing of this article, Representative Bordeaux hopes to use the county name change to educate both Natives and non-Natives in the state as to the history of the original naming of Todd County. Todd County was named after John Blair Smith Todd, a relative to President Abraham Lincoln, and a delegate in Dakota Territory to the U.S. House of Representatives and a general in the Union Army. According to Bordeaux, Todd was present at the Battle of Ash Hollow (Harney Massacre) near present day Garden County, Neb.
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The Legion Lake Fire reminded America that Custer State Park is named for a war criminal. During the Battle of Greasy Grass George Custer attacked the encampment where the elderly, women and children were hidden and during the Washita Massacre he held a similar contingent as hostages and human shields.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the US Park Service are doing what Alaskans are asking of Congress urging the body to approve a name change for North America's highest peak to Denali, an Athabascan name meaning “the high one.”

After successes by tribal nations renaming geographical features in Alaska and South Dakota, Yellowstone National Park could see at least two name changes. Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. According to US Geological Survey officials the Board on Geographic Names has received no official proposal to change the names to Buffalo Nations Valley and First Peoples Mountain.

At least 23 archaeological sites near Devils Tower National Monument, some of which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, are at risk to a proposed 8000-acre expansion of Australia’s largest U.S. aquifer uranium mining operation and to Rare Element Resources.

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