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Interior secretary seeks to rid US of derogatory place names

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AP, file
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U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has declared the word "squaw" to be a derogatory term.

She announced Friday that she's taking steps to remove the term from use by the federal government and to replace other existing derogatory place names.

Haaland is ordering a federal panel tasked with naming geographic places to implement procedures to remove what she called racist terms from federal use.

Haaland said federal lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and shared cultural heritage and that they should not perpetuate legacies of oppression.

Haaland is the first Native American to hold a cabinet position. She is from Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico.