US renames 5 places that used racist slurs against indigenous women

The US Department of the Interior announced on Thursday that it has given new names to five places that previously included the racist term for a Native American woman.

The renamed sites are in California, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, completing a year-long process of removing the historically offensive “squaw” from place names across the country.

“Words matter, especially in our work to ensure that our nation’s public lands and waters are accessible and welcome to people of all backgrounds,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said. She called the word “harmful.”

Haaland, who took office in 2021, became the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency.

In September, the Department of the Interior announced its final vote on proposals to change the names of nearly 650 websites containing the word. The Agency conducted additional verification of seven localities, all of which were considered unincorporated localities. Five of them were changed in Thursday’s announcement.

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