Priorities: Interior Dept Removes ‘Racist’ Term ‘Squaw’ From 5 Sites

WASHINGTON, DC - November 30:  US President Joe Biden greets Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit at the Department of the Interior on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Summit will feature new Administration announcements and efforts to implement key policy initiatives supporting Tribal communities.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • The Department of the Interior announced Thursday that five U.S sites have been renamed after a year-long process to remove the “racially insensitive” word  “squaw” from geographic names across the country.
  • “Words matter, particularly in our work to ensure our nation’s public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated, according to the Associated Press.
  • Haaland, the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency, declared the word “squaw” derogatory when she took office in 2021. At that time she ordered the Board on Geographic Names to begin procedures to remove the term from federal use, a press release from the Department of Interior read.

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