BOZEMAN — Mount Doane in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is now named First Peoples Mountain, following a 15-0 vote in favor of the change by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN).
YNP said in a news release on Thursday the 10,551-foot peak had been named after Gustavus Doane, a key member of the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition in 1870, before Yellowstone became America’s first national park.
YNP said research has shown that earlier in 1870, Doane led an attack on a band of Piegan Blackfeet in response to the alleged murder of a white fur trader, now known as the Marias Massacre.
At least 173 American Indians were killed, including many women, elderly Tribal members, and children suffering from smallpox. Doane wrote fondly and bragged about the attack for the rest of his life, according to YNP.
The name was forwarded to the BGN for a vote in June 2022 based on recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Tribal Council, subsequent votes within the Wyoming Board of Geographic names, and with support of the National Park Service.
YNP said it conducted outreach to all 27 associated tribes and received no opposition to the change. Park officials said in the release YNP “may consider changes to other derogatory or inappropriate names in the future.”
First Peoples Mountain is located within Yellowstone National Park, east of Yellowstone Lake in the southeastern portion of the park.