Dept. of the Interior Removes Derogatory Term from Landmarks

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Board of Geographic Names say the term “Squaw” will no longer be used. The word carries a negative connotation for a native woman and the first native American secretary of the Interior, Deb Haalan, says the term is “harmful” and that “words matter.”

The change has taken effect in Tahoe already, where the popular ski resort Squaw valley now carries the name Pallisades. The Washoe tribe will also be honored with a name change on other local landmarks. The Squaw Valley area will now be known as Yokuts Valley, meaning “people,” and in the Fresno area, Squaw Hill will be known as Laybas Hill.

California joins five other states in changing the names of their landmarks that included the derogatory term. The process took over a year as input was received from local tribes, communities, and stakeholders.

You can learn more about the changes by visiting the National Park Services website.