Saskadena Six is ​​the new name for the ski resort formerly known as Suicide Six


(CNN) — A popular Vermont ski resort originally known as Suicide Six has changed its name to Saskadena Six, according to the resort.

The ski area, located in the town of South Pomfret, announced at the end of June its intention to change its name “insensitive” in the coming weeks.

“Our resort team embraces the growing awareness of mental health and shares the growing concerns about the insensitive nature of the historic name,” the resort said in a post on its website last month. “The feelings that the word ‘suicide’ evokes can have a significant impact on many members of our community.”

The new name, Saskadena Six Ski Resort, was chosen to honor the indigenous Abenaki people of the West, according to the resort. “Saskadena” is a word from the Abenaki language which means “standing mountain”.

“A lot of time, care and thought went into the process to choose a name that is more representative of our values, a name that celebrates its 86-year history, honors Abenaki tradition and will welcome future generations,” said Courtney Lowe in a statement. Lowe is president of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which owns and operates the Saskadena Six ski resort.

While researching a new name, the resort sought the advice of Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation.

“This ‘standing mountain’ has been used by thousands of Abenaki ancestors for over 11,000 years and hopefully many more in the future,” Stevens said in a statement.

“By recognizing the original language of this place, the name Saskadena Six will honor the ancient heritage of the Abenaki people alongside that of the generations who have loved it over the past 90 years and into the future.”

The South Pomfret ski area is about 80 kilometers south of the state capital, Montpellier.

It is considered one of the oldest major ski areas in the United States. US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame honoree Wallace “Bunny” Bertram installed a primitive cable tow system on the mountain there in the 1930s, an innovation cited as one of the first lifts mechanical.
Bertram, who died in 1981, joked that skiing Hill No. 6 at the resort would be suicide, according to historical information on the resort’s website, and the name stuck.

The resort is also a member of Ski Vermont’s Fairness, Equity and Diversity initiative. Forty-eight of the state’s ski resorts have signed an open letter supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Ski and outdoor destinations across North America have reconsidered their names in recent years.

Last year, the California resort of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which hosted snow events during the 1960 Winter Olympics, decided to change its name to Palisades Tahoe.

“While we love our local history and the memories we all associate with this place as it has borne its name for so long, we are faced with overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive,” said Ron Cohen, the resort’s president and COO, said at the time, adding that the property worked with the local Washoe tribe on the name change project.

Meanwhile, in Canada, a collection of mountain cabins inside Jasper National Park chose to change their moniker from Pocahontas Cabins to Miette Mountain Cabins after dialogue with First Nations communities in the area.

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