Ski resort drops their offensive name

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I thought that the community of Squaw Valley, located in the same valley as the ski resort, changed its name to Olympic Valley back in 1960, just prior to hosting the Winter Olympics. I’ve never understood why the ski resort didn’t do likewise. Would it be a trademark issue?


maybe they can call it Yoni Valley


Pocahontas Valley has a nice ring to it. Except when spoken sarcastically by T-Rump.

Respectfully, no. We should all stay the fuck away from that word, which was not the woman’s name.

Leaving alone the whole set of myths grown around her, why amplify an insult?


(Place names can’t really be trademarked as place names.)

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Yoni Valley…

That sorta trips lightly off the tongue.


We have a local “Squaw Mountain”. If anyone knows about the process to go about getting it changed I would be interested.


Oh no! You cut off the best part!


What’s in a Name? The Work of the Domestic Names Committee

…In April 1999, for example, the governor of Montana signed legislation to remove the word “squaw” from any geographic features in the state. There are currently 72 features using “squaw” in their name. The legislation directed the state’s coordinator of Indian affairs to appoint an advisory committee to develop replacement names and report them to the BGN and other appropriate federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service. Because not all of the features are located on Native American lands, the State Board on Geographic Names has urged that all stakeholders play a role in the process at the local level. These name changes will be coming to the board over the next couple of years and will undoubtedly generate a great deal of interest. Minnesota enacted similar legislation in 1995, and it took two years to change only 17 names; and two counties still resist the changes.

That was written in 2000. Things might be different now. Twenty years of progress, measured against 20 years of partisanship


Hell no, at best it would be a patronizing gesture to invoke the name of an Indigenous American woman who lived thousands of miles away and had no connection whatsoever to the region.

If the resort owners chose to look to Indigenous American cultures for naming inspiration then the least they could do would be to choose a name that had some connection to the Washoe people who lived near Lake Tahoe and had their own distinct language and culture. Their descendants are still around and a Federally recognized tribe, so the resort could simply ASK them if they have an opinion on what to call the place.


What I meant was, if a business tried to use “Olympic” in their name, would the IOC come after them.


I want my two dollars!


Prior use, or ‘prior art’ as the law-talking guys have it, can go a long way to having rights claimed by a trademark holder. Then there’s the trademark class or classes in which a given name has been trademarked, and whether or not that mark has been guarded over time. Lack of protecting a mark led to things like aspirin, kleenex, zippers, etc., each of which was a trademark of their original manufacturers. Bonus: Bayer pharmaceuticals held the trademarks on both. aspirin and heroin. The latter was meant to help the user feel ‘heroische.’


i’m bothered by the non-admission of it being offensive in their statement:

“…we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive.”

Confronted with evidence. Not acknowledging. I really hate this shit. Stupid ego games of non-admission.


What is that lame-ass “considered” doing there? If they’ve done research, it’s not needed and just sits there sucking up the sincerity.


I’m not sure if the word is offensive or not, I thought I read in a proper place that it was sort of vague.

But the word wouldn’t be common to all the People. It somehow became a word Europeans knew, either because it was vulgar or because they thought it meant “woman”. I don’t know why the word got used in so many westerns (why can’t “woman” or “wife” be used?) But it got used to name a bunch of places, instead of the original name, or even a European name.

“I don’t know the language, but I know a swear word”, except it’s one people’s word, not a pan-indian word.

But it also reflects a complicated matter. Mixed marriages existed early on, away from European cities. Some were deep, some were exploitive. They can show that people got along. But they can also present the image that native woman were available, which leads to today’s missing and murdered women.

They aren’t this, they aren’t “princesses”, they aren’t “Pocahantas”. They are woman, and they brought a lot to those early marriages.

I’m betting it already has a name in Washoe. One that I’m sure the resort could come to a mutually agreeable financial agreement for licensing the use of the name. Perhaps a certain number of college sponsorships for tribal members, or heavy sponsorship of a tribal charity…


To summarise/expand (take your pick - inconsistency be damned!) on @zuludaddy’s reply, the answer to your question is:

Yes, with great big legal howitzers. The IOC is rabidly protective of anything ‘olympic’ linked to a degree that would make Smaug say they should lighten up.

Whether other users might have an equal or better right to use the term/image/whatever is utterly irrelevent to them.

In both cases, the First World War had more to do with the trademark issues. And aspirin at least is still a hotly defended trademark in many jurisdictions.

Kleenex is so far as I am aware not (yet) legally a ‘generic’ term. Do not try to market your fancy new handkerchief as a Kleenex. You are likely to be sued.

This ends your trademark safety announcement.


Olympia Valley. Cool name, no trademark issues.

Or Zeus Town if the sporting goods store is still around.

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