Bennet, Hickenlooper Celebrate Renaming of Mount Blue Sky

Denver — Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper celebrated the decision of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to rename Colorado’s Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky. 

“This renaming was the result of a thoughtful process, led by local communities and Tribes, and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed,” said Bennet. “As we work to address the wrongs done to the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes, and to Native people across the country, this is a strong first step.”

“We can never erase the atrocities of Sand Creek, but we can honor the lives that were lost and better face the realities of our dark history,” said Hickenlooper. “Renaming one of Colorado’s tallest peaks to honor the Arapaho and Cheyenne people is a small but important step forward.”

The peak was previously named after John Evans, the second territorial Governor of Colorado whose promotion of anti-Native American policies led the way for Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre in November 1864. During the massacre, U.S. soldiers attacked an encampment of approximately 750 Native people. The soldiers killed 230 people — mostly women and children.

The new name honors the Cheyenne people, whose annual ceremony of life is called Blue Sky, and the Arapaho people, who are known as the Blue Sky People. The decision to rename the peak was prompted by a proposal from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes alongside The Wilderness Society, and was supported by other Tribes, local governments, community groups, and non-profit organizations. 

Bennet and Hickenlooper have continually advocated for the recognition and support of Native American communities in the United States. Last year, the senators joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, National Park Service (NPS) Director Chuck Sams III, and local Tribal leaders at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to remember the massacre and announce the addition of almost 3,500 acres to the site.