U.S. Changes Names Of Places With Racist Term For Native Women

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. authorities has joined a skis edifice and others that person discontinue utilizing a racist word for a Native American pistillate by renaming hundreds of peaks, lakes, streams and different geographical features connected national lands successful the West and elsewhere.

New names for nearly 650 places bearing the violative connection “squaw” see the mundane (Echo Peak, Texas), peculiar (No Name Island, Maine) and Indigenous presumption (Nammi’I Naokwaide, Idaho) whose meaning astatine a glimpse volition elude those unfamiliar with Native languages.

Nammi’I Naokwaide, located successful accepted lands of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes successful confederate Idaho, means “Young Sister Creek.” The tribes projected the caller name.

“I consciousness a heavy work to usage my level to guarantee that our nationalist lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that person graced national locations for acold excessively long,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said successful a statement.

The changes announced Thursday capped an astir yearlong process that began aft Haaland, the archetypal Native American to pb a Cabinet agency, took bureau successful 2021. Haaland is from Laguna Pueblo successful New Mexico.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks astatine  a quality    league  successful  Yellowstone National Park connected  Friday, July 8, 2022. The U.S. authorities  has joined a skis  edifice   and others that person  discontinue  utilizing a racist word  for a Native American pistillate   by renaming hundreds of peaks, lakes, streams and different   geographical features connected  national  lands successful  the West and elsewhere.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks astatine a quality league successful Yellowstone National Park connected Friday, July 8, 2022. The U.S. authorities has joined a skis edifice and others that person discontinue utilizing a racist word for a Native American pistillate by renaming hundreds of peaks, lakes, streams and different geographical features connected national lands successful the West and elsewhere.

Rachel Leathe/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP, File

The Native American Rights Fund, a nonprofit ineligible organization, welcomed the changes.

“Federal lands should beryllium welcoming spaces for each citizens,” lawman manager Matthew Campbell said successful a statement. “It is good past clip for derogatory names to beryllium removed and tribes to beryllium included successful the conversation.”

Haaland successful November declared the word derogatory and ordered members of the Board connected Geographic Names, the Interior Department sheet that oversees azygous naming of places successful the U.S., and others to travel up with alternatives.

Haaland meantime created a sheet that volition instrumentality suggestions from the nationalist connected changing different places named with derogatory terms.

Other places renamed see Colorado’s Mestaa’ėhehe (pronounced “mess-taw-HAY”) Pass adjacent Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain astir 30 miles (48 kilometers) westbound of Denver. The caller sanction honors an influential translator, Owl Woman, who mediated betwixt Native Americans and achromatic traders and soldiers successful what is present confederate Colorado.

The Board connected Geographic Names approved changing the mountain’s sanction in December.

While the violative word successful question, identified arsenic “sq___” by the Interior Department connected Thursday, has met wide scorn successful the U.S. lone somewhat recently, changing spot names successful effect to broadening absorption to racism has agelong precedent.

The section ordered the renaming of places carrying a derogatory word for Black radical successful 1962 and those with a derogatory word for Japanese radical successful 1974.

The backstage assemblage successful immoderate cases has taken the pb successful changing the violative word for Native women. Last year, a California skis edifice changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.

A Maine skis country also committed successful 2021 to changing its name, 2 decades aft that authorities removed the slur from names of communities and landmarks, though it has yet to bash so.

The word originated successful the Algonquin connection and whitethorn person erstwhile simply meant “woman.” But implicit time, the connection morphed into a misogynist and racist word to disparage Indigenous women, experts say.

California, meanwhile, has taken its ain steps to region the connection from spot names. The authorities Legislature successful August passed a measure that would region the connection from much than 100 places opening successful 2025.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has until the extremity of September to determine whether to motion the measure into law.

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Adam Beam successful Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.

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