The City of Lander will accept new name suggestions for Squaw Creek through Wednesday, April 20.
The suggestions will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which declared the word “squaw” derogatory last year in Secretarial Order No. 3404 and directed the Board on Geographic Names to replace the term.
The U.S. Geological Survey will develop a list of names that use the derogatory term, then select candidate replacement names “drawn from a list of nearby associative topographic features, the names of which are already accepted and in local use,” according to the order.
The USGS list of candidate names will then be sent to the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force, which will invite written public comment and consult with Tribal entities as it considers replacement names.
The task force will submit its proposed name changes to the Board on Geographic Names, which will render a decision on all recommended name changes.
“They will choose what they want to choose,” Lander Mayor Monte Richardson said during a Lander City Council work session last week. “We have no say. (But) if anybody has any names … that would fit the bill, we’d be glad to send those in.”
Council Member Julia Stuble read the list of names that have already been sent to the city to be passed on to the Department of the Interior.
The list includes:
-Power Woman Creek
-Medicine Woman Creek
-Berry Red Creek
-Bear Woman Creek
-Buffalo Woman Creek
-Strong Woman Creek
Richardson noted that the name change in question applies to the actual creek itself – not Squaw Creek Road, which falls under Fremont County’s jurisdiction.
To submit a name suggestion contact the City of Lander (332-2870).