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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

6 North Dakota parcels using aboriginal words to be renamed

6 North Dakota Parcels Using Aboriginal Words To Be Renamed

BISMARK – Six sites in North Dakota will be renamed following a statement by the US Secretary of the Interior to remove the racist and sexist insult “squaw” from the names of places under federal jurisdiction.

The announcement will affect more than 660 sites nationwide, according to the US Geographic Names Board, the agency tasked with naming federal sites.

Six sites in North Dakota are in the western part of the state and include the tiny hamlet of Squaw Gap in Mackenzie County near the North Dakota-Montana border, Squaw Creek in Dunn County, and several streams called Squaw Creek in Hettinger, Mackenzie and Dunn County. …

The Interior Ministry’s order is also forming a working group made up of representatives from various federal agencies to create a list of new potential site names. The task force will solicit local views and public comment on the names.

“There is no place for racist terms in our vernacular or in our federal states. Our country’s land and waters should be a place where nature and our shared cultural heritage can be celebrated, rather than perpetuating a legacy of oppression, ”Interior Minister Deb Haaland said in a November statement.

The word “squaw” has historically been used as a racist and sexist insult, especially against indigenous women, the Interior Ministry said.

The U.S. Geographic Names Board previously considered words such as the N-word and the derogatory term for people of Japanese descent to be derogatory and supervised their removal from federal sites.

Former Home Secretary Stuart Udall, who served from 1961 to 1969, called the N-word derogatory and said, “Whatever the overtones of that word in the past, no doubt many people now consider it derogatory or worse.” according to the department.

“It’s time to acknowledge that the term squaw is no less derogatory than others that have been identified and should also be removed from the national landscape and replaced forever,” the department said.

The Home Office order applies only to federal sites using this term and does not affect geographic sites under state or local jurisdiction.

Prior to Haaland’s order, several states had already passed laws declaring the word “squaw” derogatory, including Minnesota in 1995.

According to the Legislative Council, North Dakota has not passed such a law or enacted in the past 30 years.

World Nation News Desk
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