Vermont ski resort drops longtime ‘Suicide Six’ name over sensitivity concerns

A ski area in Vermont changed its name after 86 years to better reflect a modern understanding of mental health.

Formerly known as “Suicide Six,” the resort is now called the Saskadena Six Ski Area.

“We embrace the need for the increasing awareness of mental health and share the growing concern about the insensitivity of the word and the strong feelings it evokes on those in our community who have been touched by the tragedy of suicide,” said Courtney Lowe, president of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which operates the ski rea.

The name “Saskadena” means “standing mountain” in the Abenaki language and was chosen to honor the land’s original inhabitants.

“This ‘standing mountain’ has been used by thousands of Abenaki ancestors for over 11,000 years and hopefully many more in the future,” Chief Don Stevens, of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation, said in a statement. “By acknowledging the original language of this place, the name Saskadena Six will honor the ancient legacy of the Abenaki alongside that of the generations who have loved it over the past 90 years and into the future.”

The ski area first opened in 1936. It got its original name from an instructor who installed the rope tow on Hill No. 6 and joked that skiing down the steep slope would be suicide.

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