COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held a special meeting on Sunday with the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board to review recommendations for removing the word “squaw” from Colorado landmarks.
The board was established by Governor Jared Polis to evaluate proposals concerning name changes, new names, and name controversies of geographic features in the State of Colorado.
The meeting on Sunday included consideration of local government, tribal, and general public renaming proposals related to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Secretarial Order 3404, which declares “squaw” a derogatory term.
The board approved new names for nearly two dozen features but deferred a handful of name changes to a federal task force and steered clear of suggestions naming features after people. The word “squaw,” derived from the Algonquin language, may once have simply meant “woman,” but over generations, it morphed into a misogynist and racist term to disparage Indigenous women.
Among the names under consideration are canyons, creeks, and formations in Chaffee, Saguache, Teller, Fremont, and Baca counties:
- Squaw Creek, Chaffee County: Sawatch Range, Jones Peak, Mount Shavano, Tabeguache Peak, Mount White
- Squaw Creek, Saguache County: Long Park, Lower South Park, La Garita Mountains, Mount Lion, Carnero Pass
- Squaw Mountain, Teller County: Aregua Gulch, North Fork Wilson Creek, Wilson Creek, South Fork Wilson Creek, Gold Run
- Squaw Gulch, Teller County: Guyot Hill, Globe Hill, Ironclad Hill, Beacon Hill, Rosebud Hill
- Squaw Creek, Fremont County: Taylor Soda Spring, Soapy Hill, Waugh Mountain, Wall Mountain, Cottonwood Ridge
- West Squaw Canyon, Baca County: Wisdom Tooth, Cave Spring, Dripping Spring, Ute Canyon, Devils Elbow
The full meeting was posted on the DNR’s website, and you can watch it in its entirety here.
This article was composed with information from the Associated Press.