FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) — The Department of the Interior announced the Board on Geographic Names (BGN) has voted on the remaining of more locations that feature the word "squaw," which some consider to be a racial slur against Native American women.
In September, the department announced the final vote for nearly 650 features but completed an additional review for seven locations that are considered unincorporated populated places, one of those being Squaw Valley located in Fresno County.
“Words matter, particularly in our work to ensure our nation’s public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to finalize the removal of this harmful word."
Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.
The vote comes after a year-long process to remove the term from federal use.
Noting that there are unique concerns with renaming populated locations, the BGN sought additional review and comments from Tribes, local communities, and stakeholders before the final vote.
The seven places for additional review included:
While the new names are immediately effective for federal use, the public may continue to propose name changes for any features through the regular BGN process.