Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis has sponsored a bill in the U.S. Senate to block any effort to change the name of Devils Tower National Monument in northeast Wyoming.

Fellow Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

The National Congress of American Indians [NCAI] passed a resolution calling for a name change for the iconic monument. The resolution reads in part:

 Indigenous people have for over a century repeatedly stated that the 1906 “Devils Tower” name is not the correct translation of the rock’s name and that the Devils Tower name is offensive, insulting, and disparaging because it equates Indigenous cultural and faith traditions practiced at this site to “devil worship,” in essence equating Indigenous people to “devils;” 

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But Senator Lummis, in a news release on the legislation, said:

“Devils Tower is one of the most iconic sights In Wyoming. It’s the first national monument in the United States, and a place of significance for everyone who sees it, from the tourists who visit to the native peoples and Wyoming residents who live nearby. Devils Tower is well known across the country and around the world as a historical and cultural landmark, and it is critical that we maintain its legacy and its name.”

The introduction of the bill will at least put on hold any effort to change the name of the monument, even if it does not ultimately become law. That's because the U.S. Board on Geographic Names cannot change the name of the geological formation while the bill is pending in Congress.

LOOK: Historical Wyoming License Plates Since 1914

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