On Thursday, a federal panel in Nevada that is in charge of naming places voted to get rid of 34 racist and insulting names.
The decision was made after U.S. Deb Haaland, who is in charge of the Interior Department, said she would take steps to get rid of and replace the word “squat.” The offensive word has been used in the past as an offensive ethnic, racial, and sexist slur, especially against Indigenous women, the department said.
On Thursday, the Board on Geographic Names, which is part of the Department of the Interior, voted on the final names for about 650 geographical features across the country that used the insulting term.
“I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long,” Haaland said in a statement. “I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to prioritize this important work. Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.”
Mohave Peaks is the new name for a peak in Clark County. Elko County had to change the names of nine places, the most of any county in Nevada. Washoe and Humboldt counties each had to change the names of five places to get rid of the derogatory term. On the U.S. Census website, you can find a map of the locations and a full list of the names. Website for the Geological Survey.
During the time when the public could give feedback, Haaland’s Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force got more than 1,000 suggestions for name changes. Nearly 70 Tribal governments took part in nation-to-nation consultations, which led to more than a thousand suggestions.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the National Park Service, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture.
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