(Lander, WY ) – At last night’s Lander City Council meeting, Council Member Julia Stuble proposed a discussion item for the Council’s next work session, concerning the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) November proposal to rename all of the geographical features in the nation that include the word “Squaw.”
As per Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s Secretarial Order No. 3404, the term “Squaw” has been officially declared a derogatory term, and the Interior is now implementing procedures to remove the term from federal usage.
“Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Consideration of these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms whose expiration dates are long overdue,” said Secretary Haaland in the release linked above.
“Throughout this process, broad engagement with Tribes, stakeholders and the general public will help us advance our goals of equity and inclusion.”
The DOI has also opened a public comment period for newly proposed replacement names (You may submit written comments online here by entering “DOI-2022-0001” in the Search bar and clicking “Search”).
The comment period ends April 25th.
For Lander, the lone geographic feature in City jurisdiction to include the word is “Squaw Creek,” which is currently on the DOI’s list of proposed changes.
“Squaw is a derogatory and offensive name, and the DOI is proposing to rename those features,” Stuble commented before adding that she looked through the potential name change candidates, ultimately proposing the Council’s next work session be used to discuss what the name change should be.
These candidate names include: Fairfield Hill, Cole Spring, Timber Top, Wood Hill, McMahone Park.
“It’s not a question of whether or not it will be renamed, it will be renamed,” Stuble stated before elaborating that the road name “Squaw Creek” is not set to be be changed, just the actual geographic feature.
“This is an opportunity for us to come up with another name that we think might be fitting, instead of the ones that the USGS has come with,” Stuble suggested.
The next Lander Council work session will be March 22nd.