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Interior secretary seeks to rid US of derogatory 'squaw' names, including dozens in Arizona

More than 60 Arizona sites on list
Posted at 11:48 AM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 14:40:56-05

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has formally declared the word “squaw” to be a derogatory term.

She announced Friday that she's taking steps to remove the term from use by the federal government and to replace other existing derogatory place names. Haaland is ordering a federal panel tasked with naming geographic places to implement procedures to remove what she called racist terms from federal use.

Haaland says federal lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and shared cultural heritage and that they shouldn't perpetuate legacies of oppression. Haaland is the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. She is from Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico.

According to the orders Haaland issued, the list of sites that will get name changes includes more than 60 Arizona locations.