CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis gave his official recommendation to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to rename Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky.
Colorado’s 14th-highest peak is one step closer to getting a new name at the request of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in an effort to address a history of colonialism and oppression against Native Americans.
Mount Blue Sky was first proposed by the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in 2022.
The peak, which sits at an elevation of 14,265 feet, was originally named after Colorado Territorial Gov. John Evans, who held office at the time of the Sand Creek Massacre. The 1864 massacre resulted in the deaths of over 230 Native Americans, a majority of whom were women, children and the elderly.
Now, Polis has officially recommended Mount Evans be changed to Mount Blue Sky and sent a letter to the federal board on Friday for the final decision.
Both Sen. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet applauded the governor’s choice to approve the name change.
“The names we give Colorado’s greatest landmarks should honor the entirety of our history. Mount Blue Sky acknowledges the Native peoples who first called Colorado home. The act of renaming the mountain altogether helps directly face a very dark part of our history,” said Hickenlooper.
The final decision rests in the hands of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names in a meeting that will take place on March 9.