SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — (KSEE/KGPE)- With the passing of California Assembly Bill 2022, dozens of small towns across California are now grappling with how to move forward with what to call their town. Including Fresno County’s Squaw Valley. 

The bill calls for the removal of the word “squaw” from the names of towns, cities, and places across the state by 2025. It has yet to get signed by Governor Newsom, but many expect him to sign it soon. 

However, community members in Squaw Valley, many say they are opposed to changing their town’s name. Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, whose district includes the unincorporated area of Squaw Valley and much of eastern Fresno County, held a community meeting Tuesday night to address complaints and concerns. 

“When you change the name of a community, you’re changing history!” one community member said. 

“How insulting for someone else to come around, a hundred years later and want to change that,” another resident said, followed by clapping and cheering from the crowd. 

Many believe the term “squaw” is offensive to indigenous people, especially women. However, multiple women who say they are of native descent spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, opposing the name change. 

“Does that mean my grandmother when she would call me her little squaw, was telling me something negative and derogative?” one woman asked. 

Magsig said he is going to send mailers out to residents in Squaw Valley with a form for people to fill out if they want the name changed and include a list of suggestions for what to change it to. He said at this point with the bill being passed, he’s not sure what would happen if everyone wishes to keep the name the same. 

“If there’s going to be a name change it’s to be driven by the residents, a community meeting should take place,” Magsig said. 

He said much of the push to change the name has come from outside of the community. 

“Some of you may know but the city of Orange Cove was going to take up a resolution recommending a name change and expressed my concerns to the city council during that meeting and they pulled that item,” he added. 

And while the majority of people at the meeting tonight said they didn’t want to change the name, those who do say it’s time to start the process. 

“We’re not going to be able to keep the name and that’s just the truth and Mr. Magsig I think you need to be honest about that,” one woman said as the majority of the crowd expressed their distaste for her statement. 

Magsig said he hopes to bring this issue to the Board of Supervisors to review the results from the mailer forms in front of the board of Supervisors on October 11th.