Native Americans want name change for Wyoming’s Devils Tower

(Reuters) Spiritual leaders of the Sioux and more than a dozen Native American tribes want U.S. officials to rename Devils Tower, an iconic rock formation and national monument in Wyoming that has religious and cultural importance to the tribes.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Great Sioux Nation and the head of the effort, said the name is offensive and suggests that Indian religious rituals practiced for centuries at the striking 900-foot (274-meter) tower in the Black Hills were forms of devil worship
In 1906, when the formation became the first in the country to be designated as a national monument, its name was based on a mistranslation of its Indian title, according to the National Park Service.
An interpreter with an 1875 expedition by a U.S. Army colonel told him the term meant “Bad God’s Tower,” later shortened to Devils Tower.

They renamed mcKinley, so rename the Tower! A native american name would be quite appropriate.

Yes! I hope they do change the name to a Native American name. It’s the right thing to do and it should be done.

Which tribe’s name, hmmmmm?

Whichever name you pick (and it would probably be the Lakota one, because the Sioux activists always want to control everything), you are going to torque off tons of other local tribes with their own names in their own languages. And some of those names are secret and can’t be spoken by outsiders without offense. And some of those languages have several different spelling systems in use, so you’d have to pick one and you’d end up insulting everyone.

“Devils Tower” is actually a nice neutral name that everybody can use, compared to the chaos or cultural imperialism that will otherwise result. It’s not sacred, it’s difficult to misspell, it’s not something that belongs to a single tribe, and all the signs are already printed up.

This rename everything stuff is ridiculous. Nobody is calling to rename Lyons and London both Lugdunum. That would be a heck of a lot more justified, and less confusing. (Even though there would be something like 500 Lugdunums on the European map.)

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Great Sioux Nation and the head of the effort, said the name is offensive and suggests that Indian religious rituals practiced for centuries at the striking 900-foot (274-meter) tower in the Black Hills were forms of devil worship


Really? I’d like to see proof that anyone has ever made that connection…

I agree with you 100%…and I am 3/4 Native American.

Maybe it should be called “Close Encounters Tower”,

Well, “McKinley” is available.

I will say when I saw Devil’s Tower as a kid the name spooked me a bit. Whatever it is called it is an impressive feature.

I think we have a winner :smiley:

I went searching for what the original (or perhaps more accurately, aboriginal) name of that phenomenon was. I couldn’t get the site to come up, but apparently it translated to “Bear’s Tipi.” Don’t know what that would have been in the local language at the time.

Well said! :thumbsup:

did only one native American tribe name the formation?

if more than one tribe named the formation, which name should be used?

was not the tower more in the area that the blackfoot tribe inhabited or the Shoshone, more than the Sioux?

why cannot the tribes continue to refer to the tower by its name in each of their languages without choosing only one tribe’s name for the public name? no one is forcing them to use the English name. instead some of the tribal members want to force others, native americans and non-natives to use the name that their tribe used.

I did not realize that every native in Alaska called mt. McKinley the same name until the government decided to use a native name from at least one Alaskan tribe.

did in fact every native Alaskan tribe give mt. McKinley the same name? that would seem to indicate that there was only one language used among all native alaskans.

I just hope they don’t translate the Grand Tetons. They were given a rather descriptive name that is rated PG (gotta love the French).

Maybe change “Devil’s Tower” to “Sioux Tower”?

I feel rather sad for these people, and even more so for their relatives who don’t take part in these flights of impotency. At one time, the American Indians took care of themselves. Granted they didn’t do it very well, and they went to war with each other and committed atrocities. But when they didn’t like something, it was about a hunting ground, or a woman, or a horse, or a test of courage or endurance or something like that. Now, these particular whiners have no better way than to demonstrate their manliness and courage but to complain about non-Indian words, and what name a mountain has and so on. There were tribes a plenty in many parts of the Americas. In those areas, a mountain would have half a dozen names. I doubt “Denali” was the only name, back then, for Mt. McKinley. Rivers had many names. Even a tribe had several names, depending on who was telling you the name. Redskins, Braves, Chiefs, Warriors. These aren’t even Indian words, so why the fabricated outrage? Scots have chiefs. There are braves and warriors in all cultures and ethnicities. These rabble rousers that whine about words simply have nothing productive to do, no contribution to make to their communities, and are probably so overcome with lack of self-esteem that they can hardly stand themselves. I say help them. If they want a name changed, change it for them. It won’t satisfy them. But what else can you do. That’s the only value they think they have in their lives - to change names - don’t take that away from them, or they’ll have nothing.

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