Interior Secretary Orders Removal of 'Squaw' from 31 Michigan Sites, Including Lakes

December 02, 2021, 4:10 PM

Squaw Lake in Oakland County (Photo: State of Michigan)

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the nation's first Native American cabinet member, has ordered the removal of the word “squaw” from 31 Michigan lakes, streams and other geographic features, Michigan Advance reports.

The term has been used as a racist, sexist and ethnic slur for Indigenous women, and appears in the names of 13 lakes, 10 streams, three canals, two islands, an Upper Peninsula cape, an Alpena County bay and a Lake Superior beach. 

“Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands. 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,” Haaland said in Nov. 19 statement.

Read more:  Michigan Advance

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