The U.S. Department of Interior is moving to rename federal sites that include the term 'squaw,' long popular in colorful names, but considered as a slur, especially for indigenous women. There are 650 such sites.
A task force of representatives from federal land management agencies. There will be consultation with the public and especially with tribal officials. It is a process that may take several years of consultation and name-choosing.
At least some areas have already taken steps on their own: What used to be Squaw Valley in California renamed itself Olympic Valley before the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the Squaw Valley Ski Resort changed its name earlier this year to Palisades Tahoe. In Colorado, a state board on names has proposed changing Squaw Mountain to a name honoring a native woman who acted as a translator between her people and white settlers.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, herself a Native American , has said that attention will also be paid to other kinds of names that offend or denigrate different groups. "Our nation's lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage—not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression. Today's actions will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names and mark a significant step in honoring the ancestors who have stewarded our lands since time immemorial."