Letter: Grand should consider Native American history in Gore Range debate

Letter to the editor

On Aug. 25, the Grand County Surveyor Warren Ward and both Commissioners Kris Manguso and Merrit Linke opposed the re-naming of the Gore Range because it changes history.

Driving home the matter, Commissioner Linke stated, in reference to the history behind the name, “Whether we like it or not, it is still part of our history.” In a sense, yes, the naming of the range is part of history, but specifically that of white men.

The Native Americans who lived on and from this range — Northern Ute, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain tribes — seek to honor their ancestors and current tribal members. There are hundreds of names these tribes historically had for the assorted features — rivers, streams, lakes, peaks, etc. — in this range that were tossed aside and not included in any maps.

So, when Grand County officials talk of history, nowhere is this included in their decision-making process. Nor am I seeing any respect from these officials for the Ute tribes’ history on this mountain range — a history much longer than the white men who ended up settling here.

— Jonathan Bowers, Silverthorne

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