New law will remove the word ‘squaw’ from California place names
A bill in the California Legislature aims to wipe out references to the United States as a “free land” to Native Americans, removing the word “squaw” from the state’s official government-issued place names.
Current state law prohibits the use of “Indian” or variations of the word “Indian” to refer to non-Indians, as well as other uses that may suggest an affiliation with Native Americans in a disparaging manner. Many places in the state are named for tribes that do not have their own status as federally recognized Indian Tribes under the U.S. Constitution or as Native American tribal entities under the Department of the Interior (DOI).
CALIFORNIA’S PLACE NAMES
California’s official government-issued place names include:
Los Angeles County: L.A., San Gabriel, San Gabriel Mountains, San Gabriel Valley, San Gabriel Hills, San Fernando, San Fernando Valley, San Pedro, Los Angeles County is home to the greatest concentration of Native Americans in the United States.
San Diego County: San Diego, San Diego City, San Diego Valley, San Diego State, San Diego City, San Diego, San Diego Mountains
Alameda County: Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Richmond, Hayward, Alameda
San Francisco County: San Francisco City, San Francisco Peninsula, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Peninsula, Alamo, Mission District, San Francisco, Chinatown
Santa Clara County: East San Jose, East San Jose City, East San Jose, East San Jose County, East San Jose State, East San Jose, East San Jose
Santa Cruz County: San Ramon, San Ramon Valley, Santa Cruz County is home to the biggest concentration of Native Americans in the United States.
Statewide, the current list of official government-issued place names is:
Lincoln Heights — Lincoln Heights, San Pablo, San Pablo Hills, San Pablo Valley, San Pablo Point, Lincoln Mountain
Abernathy — Auburn, Auburn Hills, Auburn Vale, Auburn, Auburn Hills, Auburn Valley, Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills Ridge, Auburn Mountain
Arapahoe Basin — Arapahoe, Arapah