Gavin Newsom signs bill removing ‘Squaw’ from names, leaving Squaw Valley in doubt

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill on Friday that would remove the word “squaw” from all geographic place names in California, declaring the term a “racist and sexist slur” – and leaving the town of Squaw Valley in an uproar.

AB 2022 states, “The term ‘squaw’ is a racist and derogatory term that has historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial and gender slur, particularly to Indigenous women. He says the word needs to be removed from more than 100 names in the state.

The bill, signed on the day designated as Native American Day, follows an ongoing effort by the US Department of the Interior, led by its first Native American secretary, Deb Haaland, to remove the word “squaw” from names. of places across the country. (State and federal efforts avoid spelling the word “squaw”, using “sw___” instead.)

While the decision was generally accepted, it outraged some people attached to the word and not feeling it as racist or sexist. The town of Squaw Valley in Fresno County, for example, which has a population of 3,511, is outraged by the change.

The town’s name was targeted (successfully) for two years by local Native American activist, Roman Rain Tree. But residents never had a chance to publicly comment on the proposed change until earlier this month.

The fresno bee reported:

Anger defined the first public meeting in Squaw Valley about federal, state and local forces working to change the name of the rural town in Fresno County.

The word is now widely seen as a sexist slur, but not to most of those who spoke at Tuesday night’s gathering outside the Bear Mountain Library, including some who identified as Native American.

Those who spoke in favor of a name change at the Squaw Valley meeting this week were constantly interrupted and shouted at, despite Magsig asking the crowd to give everyone a chance to be heard. Those who spoke in favor of keeping the Squaw Valley name were greeted with thunderous cheers and applause. Laughter also punctuated the meeting, especially after a man asked if he should ever change the name of his farm hoe and backhoe. At least half a dozen deputies from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office were present to keep the peace.

It remains unclear how the new state law will affect the town, as the name is also under review by the Department of the Interior, which exempted Squaw Valley from the change, among seven place names undergoing a further examination of the department.

The bill requires consultation with local communities on the choice of a new name, but like the Bee notes that at the recent meeting, residents were so opposed to changing Squaw Valley’s name that they didn’t bother to consider other solutions.

Last year, the Squaw Valley ski resort, where the 1960 Winter Olympics were held, was renamed “Palisades Tahoe.” The change came after the Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Joel B. Pollak is editor of Breitbart News and host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot Sunday nights from 7-10 p.m. ET (4-7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His latest book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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