Oregon leads in use of 'squaw'
Feb 18,2008 00:00 by UPI

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon leads all U.S. states in use of the word "squaw," regarded as a slur against American Indian women, in the names of geographic locations, a report said.

The word is used in the names of peaks, rivers, creeks, gulches and even streets throughout the state, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Sunday.

Lawmakers in the state called for doing away with the practice years ago, but it does not seem as though the names will change any time soon, the newspaper said.

"We just have to be patient," said Champ Vaughan, president of the Oregon Geographic Names Board. "We're hoping for more name suggestions to come in."

"This is crazy," said state Sen. Kate Brown, a sponsor of the 2001 bill to remove the reference from Oregon maps, "and I can't believe this is because of a lack of replacement names."

The Oregon board said it has replaced the offensive reference in about 40 places, leaving about 130 to go.


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