Yellowstone mountain once named after Army officer changed

A Yellowstone National Park mountain that had been named after a U.S. Army officer who once helped lead a massacre of Native Americans will be renamed to First Peoples Mountain.
Photo credit Getty Images

A Yellowstone National Park mountain that had been named after a U.S. Army officer who once helped lead a massacre of Native Americans will be renamed.

After a unanimous vote by the government panel, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the 10,551-foot Wyoming mountain, Mount Doane, will now be called First Peoples Mountain.

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The mountain used to be named after Lt. Gustavus Doane, who helped lead an attack on a band of Piegan Blackfeet in northern Montana in 1870.

The massacre, now known as the Marias Massacre, occurred when U.S. Army troops attacked the sleeping camp of Piikuni Chief Heavy Runner, killing almost 200 people.

Many victims of the attack were most were women, children, and the elderly who were sick with smallpox.

The Yellowstone officials consulted with 27 tribes before changing the mountain’s name.

“This name change is long overdue,” Piikani Nation Chief Stan Grier said in a statement. “We all agreed on ‘First Peoples Mountain’ as an appropriate name to honor the victims of such inhumane acts of genocide, and to also remind people of the 10,000-year-plus connection tribal peoples have to this sacred place now called Yellowstone.”

Besides Doane being one of the leaders of the massacre, he was also a key member of a Yellowstone expedition that same year- Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872.