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Gathering held to celebrate Mount Blue Sky renaming: "We in our hearts feel that this was one of the greatest moments in our time"

Mount Evans officially renamed to Mount Blue Sky
Mount Evans officially renamed to Mount Blue Sky 02:01

A monumental change has been made in Colorado's history after years of deliberation and review. Mount Evans is now officially named Mount Blue Sky.

Those who helped make this change possible celebrated at Chief Hosa Lodge in Golden Sunday morning. The ceremony started with a prayer, ceremonial song, and a celebration paying homage to the Arapahoe and Cheyenne tribes ancestors.

"We can't change the event when we were ran out of Colorado but we came back 100 years or so to change the name," said Reggie Wassana, the Cheyenne Arapahoe tribe governor.           


Wassana says this name change means a new chapter for the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes, who for years were reminded of the oppression and violence against Native Americans here in Colorado.

"Governor Evans was very instrumental in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. Not only was he instrumental in the massacre, he was also instrumental in the proclamation that allowed for Indians to be killed anytime, anyplace and anywhere," said Wassana.


This painful past will now receive a new meaning after the U.S. Board on Geographic names voted overwhelmingly to change Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky.

The Arapaho were known as the Blue Sky people, while the Cheyenne hold an annual renewal-of-life ceremony called Blue Sky. The Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes say this change means healing for their people.

"We in our hearts feel that this was one of the greatest moments in our time because we've done something to change the name that haunted us in our history."       


Wassana says next steps for the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes is to establish a permanent resource center to better maintain tradition and preserve ceremonial sites.

RELATED: History Colorado Center exhibit aims to shed light on dark events of Sand Creek Massacre

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