Thursday, April 07, 2022

Why Squaw Valley Ski Resort was Renamed

Indian Country Today republished this article on how nobody ever thought the word squaw was offensive until some jerk appeared on some stupid talk show:
Of all the support for the negative, the word s-word got its highest claim to defame when Suzan Shown Harjo, a Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee American Indian rights activist appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and said on-air that s-word was an Algonquin word meaning vagina and that the word s-word was viewed by many Native people as the “S-word.”

Though several journalists have supported Harjo, the jury is still out when it comes to the meaning of the word s-word. Most historians and linguists appear to be more supportive of a non-derogatory meaning, the use of the word is still looked at as offensive to many others.

In the years since Harjo’s appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, efforts to rename geographical sites swung into full-force. In the first four months of 2008, the U.S. Board on Geographic names renamed 16 valleys creeks and other sites omitting the name s-word.

As formerly mentioned, the most high-profile case at that time sought by the National Congress of American Indians was the renaming of the Phoenix hiking spot S-word Peak to Piestewa Peak. The peak was renamed to honor Lori Piestewa, a Hopi/Hispanic soldier from Arizona who was killed in Iraq in 2003.

This story was originally published on January 31, 2014.

UPDATE: This story has been updated on February 23, 2022, to fit the current ICT Style Guide. ICT does not repeat the s-word.

This site is going along with the activism, and replacing the word with a euphemism.

My theory is that none of these words are offensive, but merely present a phony issue for activists. Blacks commonly use the N-word, and do not appear to be offended by it at all. The Washington Redskins had to change their name, but not because Indians were offended. It was only because activists made an issue out of it, and White liberals did not know what to say.

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