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Interior Department finalizes effort to remove "Sq___" word from Federal use in Arizona

Deb Haaland
Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Deb Haaland

The Interior Department announced Thursday a final vote on replacement names for hundreds of features across the country that contain a word historically used as a racist, sexist slur, particularly against Indigenous women.

The Board of Geographic Names will rename 650 sites, including 65 in Arizona, that currently use the “Sq__” word.

The final vote reflects a months-long effort by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force.

During a public comment period, the Task Force received more than 1,000 recommendations for name changes. Nearly 70 Tribal governments took part in the process.

Interior Secretary Haaland said of the vote in a press release, she is grateful for the effort. She said it shows why representation and inclusion matter in the U.S.