The Paiute and the Steens

Tsösö'ödö tuviwarai

That's the name in Paiute. I love the Steens, feel at home there (scroll down). The picture at the bottom of this site was taken at the summit. The mountain is one of the best kept secrets in the world, and far away from most anything and anyone that it probably will remain that way for a while.

Yet, there's a sad and sordid history relating to the Paiute on this mountain. First, some geology: it's a gentle slope on one side and a mile high cliff on the other, part of its history as a gigantic fault block that lifted up on its eastern side. So, when Major Enoch Steen decided to name his mountain, he drove the remaining Paiute up the gentle slope, and onwards.

As a tribute to those who suffered for their own, I'd like to name this site after the native name. This is because I realize that our original state slogan (SFWHOW) is WAY too long of a name. But, Tsösö'ödö tuviwarai is obviously difficult to pronounce and remember for anyone but a Paiute, which I am not. As an aside; we know that Wy'East--the native name for "Mt.Hood"--has gotten some traction in recent years. It makes me wonder if a more amenable (to English) language makes these sorts of transitions (i.e. the slow transition from an imposed to a more "native" name) easier. Future generations may have a hard time adapting "Tsösö'ödö tuviwarai" instead of "Steens" even if the majority of the region's population--who have a greater affiliation to Steen, French, and Glenn--would be magnanimous enough to forget the ugly history and change the name back to memorialize those who suffered there.

As am I. For all I know right now, it may simply mean "big mountain." Must find out.