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North Dakota

Due to its pejorative name, Squaw Gap, North Dakota, was officially renamed “Homesteaders Gap”



North Dakota – The disparaging name of Squaw Gap, North Dakota, has been formally changed to Homesteaders Gap by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The vote to ban a term from government use that has historically been used as an unpleasant ethnic, racial, and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women, comes after a year-long process, according to the Department of Interior. The Board on Geographic Names (BGN) requested additional review and feedback from Tribes, local communities, and stakeholders before the final vote, noting that there are particular issues with renaming populous locations.

Seven sites, including ones in Alaska, California, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming, gained new names. Homesteaders Gap is one of them.

The U.S. Geological Survey website will be updated with the list of the new names and a map of the places to reflect today’s decision.

The public may still suggest name modifications for any features using the standard BGN process, even when the new names are already in use for government purposes.