Yellowstone Mountain renamed in honor of massacred Native Americans

The National Park Service has announced that it has renamed one of the mountains in Yellowstone National Park in honor of Native Americans, replacing the “offensive” name of the US Army captain who was responsible for their massacre.

The name of the 10,551 foot mountain formerly known as Mount Doane and located east of Yellowstone Lake has been changed to First Peoples Mountain. Before the name change, the mountain was named after Gustavus Doane, a key member of an expedition in 1870 before Yellowstone became the country’s first national park.

First Peoples Mountain (center) sits between Top Notch Peak and Mount Stevenson.

National Park Service

According to the National Park Service, new research shows that Doane led an attack on Piegan Blackfeet, who were an Algonquian-speaking people of the Great Plains, in response to the alleged murder of a white fur trader. In what is now known as the Marias Massacre, the US military killed at least 173 people, including many women, elderly tribal members and children.

“Doane wrote fondly of this attack and bragged about it for the rest of his life,” the National Park Service said in a press release.

Based on recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Tribal Council and other officials, the new name was submitted to the US Board of Geographic Names. The federal body, which establishes and maintains the consistent use of geographic names across government, took a vote this month and passed it unanimously. The name change will be reflected on Universal platforms in the coming days.

The park said it may consider changing “other derogatory or inappropriate names in the future.”

Nohemi M. Moore