A federal committee recently called for the name of Devils Tower National Monument to be changed to Bear Lodge National Monument.

The federal Reconciliation in Place Names Committee made that recommendation. That committee is a subcommittee of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. The recommendation is not a new one. A similar recommendation was made a decade ago.

Arguments for Changing the Name

The main driver of the name change is that the most common name given to the iconic butte was Bear Lodge. Some Native Americans argue that the name Devils Tower is offensive because it implies that the Sioux Nation, which held ceremonies at the tower, were devil worshippers. Many supporters of changing the name say the Native Americans had no concept of a devil as is found in Christianity, and that the tribes that lived in the area certainly did not worship a satanic entity.

According to some, the name ''Bear'' was mistranslated as ''bad god." From that misunderstanding arose the idea of ''Devils" Tower.

Is the Name Change Proposal A Solution In Search Of A Problem?

But opponents of changing the name argue that it's another example of politically correct thinking and ''woke'' ideology running amok and that changing the name is a solution in search of a problem. They say the name Devils Tower is widely known and that suddenly changing the name is unnecessary and would hurt tourism. People worldwide know about Devils Tower. Bear Lodge Monument? No matter how well publicized, it simply would not have the same type of recognition.

As recently as 2023, Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis introduced a bill to keep the name Devils Tower from being changed. Sen. John Barrasso co-sponsored the bill, but it died in a Senate Committee.

There are legal questions about whether the federal government could change the name without an act of Congress. That is because Wyoming is exempt from the Antiquities Act. It's unclear that there would be broad enough congressional support to force the name change.

By the way, the name of the monument currently is Devils Tower, not 'Devil's Tower." That's due to a typo in the original paperwork designating it as a national monument.

Legalities aside--should the name of Devils Tower be changed? Take our poll and give us your opinion!!

Chili & Pie Eating Contest, Chugwater Chili Festival 2024

Laugh at the messy faces of the pie-eating contest.

Be shocked at the carnage of the hot chili pepper eating contest.

It's the annual Chugwater Chili Festival in Wyoming and this year was no disappointment.

Some of the best moments in these epic battles were captured for your enjoyment.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

More From KGAB