SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A bill to remove the word ‘squaw’ from names of towns, cities, and places across the state by 2025 was signed by Gov, Gavin Newsom on Friday – which was also Native American Day.
With the new bill in place, Fresno County’s Squaw Valley could be required to undergo a name change, a topic that has been the center of heated debate.
“The racist and sexist term “squaw” will be removed from all geographic features and place names in the state,” officials with the governor’s office wrote in a press release.
Earlier this month, the federal Department of the Interior announced that it would be removing the word from nearly 650 geographic features across the country.
Many people believe the term “squaw” is offensive to indigenous people, especially women.
Officials said they will be continuing to remove discriminatory names of features in the State Parks and transportation systems.
The governor’s office will also be creating a process to review petitions to remove the word “squaw” from places in the state.