fbpx
 

The Department of the Interior is seeking public comment on proposed name changes for the more than 660 geographic places on federal lands that use a Native American slur, the Department announced on Tuesday. 

Under the leadership of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo), the word “squaw” was officially declared a derogatory term last November. The Department of the Interior then enacted procedures to remove the term from federal usage.

A list of five candidate names for each geographic feature was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, as directed by Haaland’s official order. Proposed additional candidate names will also be accepted during the public comment period, or for the next 30 days.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

The Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force, formed by the Secretary, will ultimately  recommend replacements to each of the more than 660 areas that require a name change.  

The public can weigh in on each proposed name change. Five alternative replacement names were derived for each location using nearby geographic features. For example, the first name on the list in Alabama, “Squaw Shoals,” has a suggested replacement name of “Bankhead Lake.”

Proposed additional names will also be accepted during the public comment period.

To comment on the candidate names, visit the Federal Register notice for more information. 

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (February 5, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Set for Monday, Feb. 6th
Sen. Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee) Appointed to Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
American Indian Man Dies in Pennington County Jail
Interior Secretary Haaland to Travel to Australia, Highlight International Climate Partnerships

12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Writer
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the publication's lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.