Rogelio V. Solis/AP
The Division of the Inside is transferring ahead with plans to take away a reputation the division declared to be derogatory from federal lands.
Inside Secretary Deb Haaland fashioned a process pressure and declared the phrase “squaw” derogatory in November 2021. Now, the division is in search of public touch upon identify replacements for the greater than 660 geographic options that comprise the phrase.
Traditionally, the time period has been used as “an offensive ethnic, racial, and sexist slur, notably for Indigenous girls,” the division famous. The time period originated from the Algonquian phrase for “lady,” however its meanings has been skewed for hundreds of years by white individuals.
The duty pressure, dubbed the Derogatory Geographic Names Process Pressure, additionally moved to exchange the phrase with “sq_ _ _” in official communications.
“Phrases matter, notably in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds,” Haaland stated. “Consideration of those replacements is a giant step ahead in our efforts to take away derogatory phrases whose expiration dates are lengthy overdue.”
Haaland is the first Native American to serve within the Cupboard in U.S. historical past.
The 13-member process pressure contains representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Administration, Nationwide Park Service and Workplace of Variety, Inclusion and Civil Rights.
“All through this course of, broad engagement with Tribes, stakeholders and most of the people will assist us advance our objectives of fairness and inclusion,” Haaland stated.
Outdoors of federal lands, a ski resort close to Lake Tahoe eliminated the derogatory phrase from the identify final yr, renaming itself Palisades Tahoe after enter from Native People.
The Washoe tribe counseled the transfer in a assertion.
“The phrase itself is a continuing reminder of the unjust therapy of the Native individuals, of the Washoe individuals,” stated Darrel Cruz of the Washoe Tribe Historic Preservation Workplace. “It is a fixed reminder of these time intervals when it was not good for us. It is a time period that was inflicted upon us by anyone else and we do not agree with it.”