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Hickenlooper, Bennet, Celebrate Renaming of Mount Blue Sky

Sep 15, 2023

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet applauded the U.S. Board of Geographic Names’ official decision to change the name of Colorado’s Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky.

“We must better face the dark history of the Sand Creek atrocities by honoring the lives that were lost,” said Hickenlooper. “Renaming one of Colorado’s tallest peaks to honor the Arapaho and Cheyenne people is an important step forward.”

“This renaming was the result of a thoughtful process, led by local communities and Tribes, and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed,” said Bennet. “As we work to address the wrongs done to the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes, and to Native people across the country, this is a strong first step.”

Previously, the peak was named for the second territorial Governor of Colorado John Evans, who promoted policies encouraging the murder of Native Americans, paving the way for Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre. On November 29, 1864, U.S. soldiers killed 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people at Sand Creek — most of them women, children, and the elderly.

The peak’s new name recognizes the Cheyenne people, whose annual ceremony of renewal of life is called Blue Sky, and the Arapaho people, who are also known as the Blue Sky People. The proposal to rename the mountain was submitted by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and The Wilderness Society, and has continued to gain support from Tribes, local governments, community groups, and non-profit organizations.

Last year, the senators joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and tribal leaders at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to remember the 1864 massacre and announce the addition of almost 3,500 acres to the site.


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