KUSA — At 14,265 ft., Mt. Evans has a huge presence in our area. When one educator learned it was named after the man whose administration carried out the Sand Creek Massacre, she decided that name couldn’t stand.
Denver Public Schools teacher Kate Tynan-Ridgeway submitted a proposal to rename the 14er in honor of Native American tribes instead of John Evans.
“I started paying attention more to the public outcry that’s already there,” Tynan-Ridgeway explained. “For years I saw letters to the editor to rename the peak.”
Evans was the governor of the Territory of Colorado when troops killed nearly 200 members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in 1864. He then tried to cover up the massacre before eventually resigning.
“We can do better than previous generations. It’s incumbent upon us as citizens to make things right,” Tynan-Ridgeway said.
The third grade teacher’s proposal was to change the name to Mt. Cheyenne-Arapaho in honor of the victims of the Sand Creek Massacre, but Tynan-Ridgeway made clear it’s the local indigenous communities’ decision to make.
“We want to get rid of the Evans name, but the name of the mountain should be decided on by stakeholders more invested than I am,” she said. “I’m the catalyst and hopefully people can take over from there.”
The United States Geological Survey is reviewing her proposal and the Indian Affairs Commission for the City of Denver will discuss the matter. Tynan-Ridgeway said you can reach out to USGS along with the proposal ID "9463" to give your support.