Earlier today the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board voted unanimously to rename a mountain in Clear Creek County. Where exactly will you find this mountain?

For the moment, the mountain is referred to as Squaw Mountain. After today's unanimous vote, it will be renamed Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain.

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Where Will You Find This Mountain?

I was born and raised in Western Colorado, and until this morning, had never heard of Squaw Mountain. According to Google Maps, Squaw Mountain is located nine miles south of Idaho Springs, Colorado.

Squaw Mountain Map
Google Maps / Canva

Why the Name Change?

According to CBS4, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe asked that the mountain be renamed. Proponents of the change say the word squaw is derogatory. They asked it be renamed Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain.

Is The Matter Closed?

By no means. This is a major step for those behind the proposed change. There is still more to be done. The Facebook group Mestaa'ėhehe Coalition posted earlier today (September 16, 2021):

It's another YES for Mestaa'ėhehe Mountain! This time from the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board who just unanimously voted in favor of this proposal. It now goes to Governor Polis for review, and then to the federal level (U.S. Board on Geographic Names).


Background on the Mestaa'ėhehe Coalition

According to their Facebook page, "Mestaa'ėhehe Coalition is a collaborative effort among Tribal Representatives from the Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and Hinono'eiteen (Arapaho) tribes, Indigenous leaders, non-profits and allies who support renaming and educational efforts.

Other Factors to Consider

The Squaw Mountain region is also home to the Squaw Mountain Trail. According to AllTrails.com, "Squaw Mountain Trail is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels."

One Last Thing - How Do You Pronounce Mestaa'ėhehe?

As near as I can tell, the phonetic spelling would be Me-Stuh-Hay. Take a listen to the recent news clip below.

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