For generations, the name of many Idaho geographic features has used the derogatory term “squaw” for Native American women. Scobut. Little Skoke Creek. Suko flat. Sukomedou. Scorjo Canyon.
Of the 660 features on federal lands throughout the United States that use this word, 72, or 11%, are in Idaho. They are spread over 21 of 44 counties in Idaho.
It will disappear soon. The US Interior Department will rename Butte, Creek, and Canyon after receiving public comments.
“Racist terminology is not in our language or in federal lands. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a news release issued in November that the lands and waters of our country were outdoors. It should be a place to celebrate our shared cultural heritage.
The agency is now Ask for comments For possible alternative names or other suggestions. The deadline is Monday, April 25th.
Renaming geographic features usually takes several years. Harland, a registered member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico and the first Native American to serve as Chief Cabinet Secretary, facilitated this process. She will complete her work in a few months.
In February, the US Geological Survey published a list of recommended alternative names for features. They weren’t necessarily creative, they were simply taken from other nearby features.
Towering about 5,900 feet north of Emmet, Scobut is best known among the Treasure Valley landmarks named after it. Seen from Boise, Nampa and Coldwell, it looks great for drivers entering Emmett from Freezeout Hill in Idaho 16.
The five proposed alternative names come from a nearby stream. Coral Creek, Jakes Creek, Hawk Creek, Long Hollow Creek, Spring Creek.
“The substitute name for the candidate replaces the derogatory modifier,” Haaland’s deputy spokesman Giovanni Rocco wrote in an email.
The final name does not need to be obtained from the candidate list. The decision is made after consultation with tribal members and the general public. The Ministry of Interior’s Geographical Names Committee chooses an alternative name.
There is precedent for the decision. Once upon a time, 190 locations on federal land used the N-word, an unpleasant name for African Americans. The interior changed their name in 1962. The Japanese derogatory term was removed from the place in 1974.
“It’s time to realize that the term’scow’is as derogatory as any other term identified and should be erased from the landscape of the country and replaced forever. ” Harland wrote With an order in November.
Emmett and Squaw Butte are on traditional Shoshone-Bannock lands, according to Native Land Digital, a Canadian non-profit organization that records and maps indigenous lands.
“We need to get rid of the word scau from every place in Idaho,” Shoshone-Bannock spokesman Randy L. Teton wrote in an email to Idaho State Assembly last year.
But change is not without controversy. At a joint meeting of the Emmet City Council and the Gem County Commission in 2015, the audience was almost unanimous in opposition to the name change to Squaw Butte.
“You don’t have to start a conversation about renaming a butte, because no one in this community wants to rename a butte.” Emmet’s resident said after that.
The tops of the two hills north of Emmet were originally known as Big Butte and Little Butte. For decades, it is said that Big Butte was renamed in the 1930s, based on Mrs. BR Wright’s poem “The Legend of Scobute.”
However, according to online, Idaho state legislators referred to Squaw Butte as far back as 1909. Archives managed by the Bowers Library.. In an October 1924 article, Emmet’s resident AJ Sullivan described how he captured 86 coyotes, 4 lynxes, and bobcats near Butte each month. He was paid a prize of $ 2.50 per skin. In 1926, there was a notice of Gem County Grange, named after Butte.
Emmet’s Butte is the most famous feature that uses offensive language
This poem is related to the story of the slaughter of Indian women and their children, based on the evidence found there.Locals say they can see the image of a “sad mother” Based on passage In the poem.
At some point, 22 additional Idaho locations contained the word. Their names have already changed.
In 2007, the US Geographical Names Commission approved the removal of words from eight place names in Northern Idaho after the tribe sought a change.To Associated Press article at the time.
Of the three changes regarding bookings in Kootenai County, two Squaw Creeks have been renamed to Squeatah Creek and Nehchen Creek, and Squaw Hump has been renamed to Nehchen Bluff.
“Language is important, especially in our work to make our country’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds.” Harland said..
To comment http://www.regulations.govEnter “DOI-2022-0001” in the search bar and click “Search”.
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