Indiana’s oldest and most popular state park has been renamed in honor of the state’s oldest living Native American man, the state Parks and Recreation Department announced Wednesday.
The name of the new Indian Hills Indian Reservation in Jefferson County was first announced by the department late last month.
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Gossett said the name reflects the fact that the Indian Hills Indians lived here for over 150 years before being relocated to other parts of the United States.
“The name reflects our state’s history, and it reflects our commitment to protecting and protecting our state parks,” Gossetts said.
Gossetts also said the change in name is in honor “of our native people, who have made a significant contribution to the development of the American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.”
Paddling, hiking and camping will be allowed on the new site.
In the meantime, the park will remain open and accessible to the public.
But Gossets said the new name is not a new idea, and that the new reservation will still be designated as an Indian reservation.
While the name is a change, Gosses said he did not think it was a bad idea.
He noted that it has been used since 1857, and there are other reservations with similar names.
It was a name change that was a way to honor our native culture, he said.
“We can’t just call it Indian Hills, and not have the same cultural significance as the other ones,” he said, adding that the name change will also allow for more Native Americans to visit the park.
“They’re not going to just go through the gates and just walk around.”
Indian Hills is a part of the Uinta National Forest, which was originally named Indian Lake.
According to the park, the name was selected based on the importance of the Indian tribe, Grossetts said, and also the number of years that have passed since the tribe first settled in the area.