UTAH

Geographical Utah sites are being renamed

Sep 9, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:19 am
Squaw Peak...
FILE: Kyhv Peak, the new name for Squaw peak. (Photo: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)
(Photo: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Soon, you might not recognize the names of several geographic sites in Utah because their new names have been approved. Along with 50 sites in Utah, the U.S. Board on Georgraphic Names approved name changes for almost 650 locations across the United States.

One of the changes will come in Utah County, where Squaw Mountain will be renamed Kyhv Peak. The term “squaw” has been used as a racist slur to refer to a Native American woman.

Dozens of other sites in Utah used the derogatory term. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland,  said the decision to remove the term from 650 places across the nation stems from a sense of obligation to make public lands and waters more “accessible and welcoming.”

And renaming places in Utah and other states is a way that the federal government and other land owners can work to combat racism. 

These types of changes are not new. The U.S.  Department of the Interior renamed places with a derogatory term for Black people in 1962 and a derogatory term for Japanese people in 1974.

The department’s goals for the coming years are to integrate not only climate and environmental management but equity, and justice, into all of the activities in which they engage. 

Sites are being changed often with new names continuing to pop up. Stay in the loop with your favorite geographical sites at the webpage for the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Geographical Utah sites are being renamed