Deb Haaland, US Secretary of Interior, established a federal task force to give new names to federal sites which include offensive terms of ethnicity, race, or gender.
“Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage — not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression.”Deb Haaland, US Secretary of Interior
Haaland is herself the first Native American in a Cabinet-level position in any presidential administration. Her task force will include representatives of Indian tribal leadership, Native Hawaiian organizations, and civil rights activists, anthropologists, and historians. They will review the names of more than 650 sites, including several that have the word “squaw” in them.
According to Haaland, the term has “historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial, and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women,” and is considered derogatory.