Feds rename Trumbull County's Squaw Creek, Little Squaw Creek, Squaw Valley Park Lake
A federal agency has officially renamed three waterways in Trumbull County to stop using the term "squaw" which has historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women.
The Department of Interior has announced that the Board on Geographic Names has voted on the final replacement names for nearly 650 geographic features around the U.S. that featured the word “squaw”.
Three of the six changes announced in Ohio are in Trumbull County
Squaw Creek, which flows from Lower Girard Lake into the Mahoning River is now Girard Creek.
The department has also renamed Little Squaw Creek to Little Girard Creek. The stream begins in Liberty and ends at the Mahoning River in Girard.
Squaw Valley Park Lake, a reservoir between Upper Girard Lake and Route 193, is now Girard Valley Park Lake.
The final vote completes the last step in the efforts to remove a term from federal use
“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,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.”
The final vote reflects a months-long effort by the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force established by Secretary’s order, which included representatives from the Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, National Park Service, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.
During the public comment period, the Task Force received more than 1,000 recommendations for name changes. Nearly 70 Tribal governments participated in nation-to-nation consultation, which yielded another several hundred recommendations.
While the new names are immediately effective for federal use, the public may continue to propose name changes for any features.
The renaming process included the evaluation of multiple public or Tribal recommendations for the same feature; features that cross Tribal, federal and state jurisdictions; inconsistent spelling of certain Native language names; and reconciling diverse opinions from various proponents.