Western Australia’s iconic King Leopold Ranges have been officially renamed – and rightly so. The Kimberley landmark will now be known as Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges, honouring it’s original Indigenous title.
The ranges were first named in 1879 after a violent and oppressive Belgian monarch who was responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans.
The ranges have been renamed as the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges after 141 years. The renaming comes off the back of BLM protests calling for colonial figures to be removed from their hero status.
We’ve seen the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement take full force across the globe. With people calling for murderous and oppressive colonial figures to be removed from glory in the form of destroying statues, the names of famous landmarks have also come under fire.
The Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges was previously named after Belgian monarch Leopold II, who is known for his violent and brutal enslaving of African people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during its time under European rule. The move to honour the Indigenous naming of the landmark is a significant recognition of the traditional owners’ inextricable connection to the land. The WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Ben Wyatt, further commented on the reinstated title:
“It has troubled me for years that an extraordinary area of Western Australia should be named in honour of a person who is widely regarded as an evil tyrant with no connection to our state,” he commented.
“The traditional owners of the region have always known the ranges by their own name, so it’s momentous to finally remove reference to King Leopold II and formalise the name.”