The Biden administration’s Department of the confirmed on Thursday the replacement names for close 650 geographical features which still held names which were deemed to be “racist and derogatory.”
The Board on Geographic Names held a final vote on the replacement names of landmarks on federal lands that contain the word “squaw,” the department confirmed in a press release.
The removal of the word “squaw,” which the department says has “historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women,” is part of an ongoing project to identify any derogatory names and then remove them from any federal buildings or landmarks, according to Fox News.
“I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long.”
Haaland also offered her thanks to all those involved in the renaming process and said the effort is “charting a path for an inclusive America.”
The list of new names can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey website, along with the latitude and longitude of each location.
Some examples federal lands included: Squaw Gulch, a valley in Placer County, California, to Mani’pa Gulch; Squaw Lake in Hinsdale County, Colorado, to Grizzly Lake; and Squaw Mountain, a summit in Utah County, Utah, to Kyhv Peak, Squaw Dance Valley, a valley in Navajo County, to Cliff Rose Valley and Squaw Creek Tank, a reservoir in Graham County to Natanes Creek Tank.
The department’s Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force, which was created last year to take on the renaming project, were given over 1,000 recommendations for name changes, with close 70 tribal governments taking part in the consultation, who provided the department with several hundred recommendations.
While the department stated that the new names are immediately effective for federal use, they went on to say that the public may continue to offer suggestions for name changes for any features, including the ones in noted Thursday’s announcement.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
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