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New mural in RiNo pushes for Mount Evans name change

There are currently six alternatives on the table.

DENVER — The state renaming board has not made a decision on what the new name for Mount Evans will be but support is continuing to focus on one particular option.

There are currently six alternatives on the table. Two of the names were suggested by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, including one name especially popular among tribal representatives. 

The name Mount Blue Sky would pay tribute to the Arapaho tribe, also known as the Blue Sky tribe.

Over the weekend, a mural was unveiled in RiNo pushing for Mount Evans to be renamed Mount Blue Sky. The artist, Sarah Ortegon is enrolled Eastern Shoshone but is also northern Arapahoe. She spoke to 9News about why changing the name is important to the Native American community. 

Why did you decide to paint this mural?

Ortegon: So I chose this subject because I had actually thought that Mount Evans was renamed Mount Blue Sky. Little did I know that it’s in its third year of on-the-ground work to being renamed Mount Blue Sky. 

The reason why I chose this is because I am enrolled Eastern Shoshone but I’m also northern Arapahoe and I chose this because of the Sand Creek Massacre that happened in 1864. Governor Evans was the Governor that allowed the Sand Creek Massacre to happen. So it directly affects me as an Arapahoe person and my husband he is also Cheyenne and so it also affects our son who is Cheyenne and Arapahoe.

I don’t want to take recognition in creating this movement but I do want to show my support.

Why is this important to make this name change?

Ortegon: So I think this is so important to do right now because I’ve even seen comments recently people believe Native Americans are 'conquered people' and I just want to say we are not 'conquered people.' 

We are alive and well we have our own children that are thriving that see us as parents doing good work and we’re not going to stop. For those that are saying we are' conquered people' I’m sorry we’re still here.

Do you hope it educates individuals?

Ortegon: I hope that this is just a small change into what can happen in the future. Right now, we’re still fighting for things such as water rights and big issues like where we all need to fight for those types of rights and so as indigenous people I hope they start to see us a thriving population, maybe they will assist us but they don’t need to carry us, we carry ourselves. 


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