Over Sunday morning coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream I read the excellent News Tribune article “It’s Tahoma, not Rainier; change mountain name” by Don Meyer and Jared Faker. Meyer and Faker made the argument that the name of our local iconic mountain should be changed back to the name given to it by the Puyallup Tribe.
“Instead of naming the mountain after someone who never set foot in Washington, we should use the Tahoma name to honor the indigenous people who lived in the region long before there was a City of Tacoma, a State of Washington or a Port of Tacoma.” The article also points out that Admiral Rainier (our mountain’s namesake) fought against our country and killed Americans during the Revolutionary War. This comes at a great time, when we will probably see Joe Biden, our new U.S. President, erase the Confederate officers names from our military bases in favor of heroes who fought for our country, not against it.
I like to see our American heroes and our local natural wonders take on a meaningful presence. For example, I created a quintessential painting called Washington Crossing the Puyallup, which combines General Washington (and first U.S. President), daffodils, madrona trees, steelhead fishing, and the Puyallup River. Tahoma is the Puyallup tribal name for “Mother of Waters.”
Let’s change the name of our mountain so we can share the beauty, the history, and the joy of Mount Tahoma with our area’s original inhabitants.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.