+
upworthy
Identity

U.S. finally renames public sites to replace a racist term for Native American women

"Words matter, particularly in our work to ensure our nation's public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds," said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

native american, racist term

The Department of Interior has renamed hundreds of national geographic features that include racist language.

Names matter.

That's the message from the Department of the Interior as it works to replace the names of public lands that are outdated at best and outright offensive at worst.

In November 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland—the first Native American person to serve as a cabinet secretary in U.S. history—established a task force to review the names of the nation's geographic features and replace the ones that include racist and derogatory terminology.


"Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands," Secretary Haaland said at the time. "Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage—not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression."

One of the terms singled out for removal was "squaw," which the department described as "an offensive ethnic, racial and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women."

It has been a year-long process to change the names of more than 650 sites with derogatory names, and the final five sites containing the offensive term for Native American women have officially been renamed as of January 13, 2023, according to NPR.

The final five sites are located in California, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, and the names were changed in consultation with Native tribes and local communities. The five new names are as follows:

- One California site was renamed Loybas Hill, a name proposed by the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians which means "young lady"

- Another California site was renamed Yokuts Valley, translating to "people."

- At a North Dakota site, the name Homesteaders Gap was chosen to reflect local history.

- In Tennessee, a site was renamed Partridgeberry after a plant for which the community had been named previously.

- A Texas location was named Lynn Creek for a local resident named Isaac Lynn who lived on the nearby creek.

“Words matter, particularly in our work to ensure our nation’s public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” Secretary Haaland said in a statement. “I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to finalize the removal of this harmful word. Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.”

The renaming of sites is never without controversy, but it also isn't new. As the Department of Interior pointed out, former the N-word was identified by the Secretary of the Interior as derogatory in 1962 and a policy was developed to eliminate its use. Additionally, in 1974, the Board on Geographic Names identified a derogatory term for “Japanese” and eliminated its use as well.

Some states have outlawed certain derogatory names, and we've also seen schools and sports teams changing their names and mascots to avoid culturally and racially offensive terms and imagery in recent years. Considering the long, storied and painful relationship between the U.S. government and Native American communities, these changes at the federal level are a move in the right direction.

Names matter—but the journey toward true equality doesn't end there. As Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative, told Axios, "Changing racist names is a start, but we also need to transform how Americans see and treat Native people.”


Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.






Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Gen Xer explains sense of 'impending doom' that seems to define the Millennial generation

Somebody finally put it into words and a lot of Millenials are feeling seen.

A woman looks to the ground in dispair.

At the end of his YouTube video “Does Anyone Else Feel Like Everything Has Changed?” self-development influencer Stephen Antonioni makes a rather haunting observation: "In many ways, the world is a better place than it was yesterday, just judging by objective measures. But I can't help share the feeling that something is off and perhaps terribly so. And therefore, I have to ask the question: Does anyone else feel like everything has changed?"

The most popular comment on the video, which was liked over 28,000 times was written by a YouTuber named Tracy Smith. Even though, at 57, she’s a Gen Xer, her thoughts have resonated with thousands of Millenials.

“I am 57. Not only does it feel like ‘something wicked this way comes’ but there is also this feeling that the whole world is holding its breath. Almost as though we are all waiting for some catalyst or sign or event that puts an end to this feeling of being put on hold,” Smith wrote. “This vague, unexplained unease we feel. Something terrible lurking just out of our field of vision but we all feel it closing in. I cannot count the number of people who have told me they wish that whatever is going to happen would just get on with it. That this waiting for the thing in the darkness is unbearable.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Melissa Pateras explains how dry cleaning works.


Have you ever wondered what happens at the dry cleaners? Or are you like me, who just assumed the people at the dry cleaners were wizards and never questioned their magic? Turns out, dry cleaners aren't magic and there's actually a pretty interesting explanation of how they came to be and what they do.

Melissa Pateras is known on Tiktok for her laundry knowledge. Seriously, her ability to fold laundry is hypnotizing. This time, she created a video explaining what actually takes place at the dry cleaner and the internet is aghast.

Before Pateras explained what happens in the mysterious world behind the counter of a dry cleaner, she asked a few of her friends what they thought dry cleaning was. Their answers were...interesting to say the least.

One friend surmised, "You put it in a box, right...and then you let some wind, really fast wind, blow around on your clothes and it wipes off all the dirt." The friend, whose username is @unlearn16, continued with her working hypothesis, saying that the clothes are then blasted with infrared heat to sterilize the garments. While that is certainly an interesting theory, that's not what happens.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Doberman's blissful reaction while getting pampered at bathtime goes viral

This "scary" dog's next-level beauty routine proves there's nothing scary about him at all.

Representative Image from Canva

May this adorable video show that Doberman's don't deserve their bad reputation.

Let’s face it, Hollywood has given Doberman’s a bad reputation. So often they are depicted as the canine henchman to the evil villain, that many people assume that’s their temperament in real life.

But the truth is: like just about every dog on the planet, Dobermans are sweet, loyal and affectionate canine companions. And, much like Pit Bulls, they are not nearly as inherently aggressive as pop culture makes them out to be—especially when properly trained.

I mean, just take a look at Atlas. This goodest of good bois recently went viral on TikTok while getting a nice, relaxing bathtime session. He proved that not only are Doberman’s capable of extreme levels of chill, they can have a deep felt appreciation for some good old fashioned pampering.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Gustavo Fring|Canva

Therapists explains being 'touched out' and gives tips to help

Just about every mother has experienced the feeling of being touched out. They may not know that's what it's called, or some may feel embarrassed to admit they're feeling that way due to fear of judgement. But when you think about it, being touched out, especially when you have younger kids seems inevitable.

The sense of your body not belonging to only you can start during pregnancy. Everything you do directly affects your developing fetus, and once the baby is born, it needs a lot of physical contact for proper brain, social, and emotional development. So babies are held a lot outside of feedings. Those babies turn into toddlers who then turn into early school agers, all of whom rely very heavily on co-regulation of their emotions and being physically near their parent to feel safe.

It's pretty much a constant state of being touched throughout much of the day. When psychologist, Dr. Raquel Martin reveals she too feels touched out in a video on Instagram, parents across the internet felt validated.

Keep ReadingShow less

No better time to grab a little shut eye.

For those in the military, sleep can mean the difference between life and death. But shut-eye can be very hard to come by, especially during active conflict.

According to Sharon Ackman, the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School developed a scientific method to help its pilots fall asleep. Through this technique, 96% of the pilots were able to fall asleep in two minutes or less.

Keep ReadingShow less