- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
- Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland
SD panel moves to remove ‘squaw,’ keep ‘Negro’
Question of the Day
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A legislative committee approved a bill Friday that allows use of the word “Negro” in South Dakota place names but makes it clear that the word “squaw” should be removed from all locations.
Joe Nadenicek, a member of the state board responsible for getting rid of offensive names, was pleased with the vote.
“I’ve been working with this issue since 2001,” said Nadenicek, a staff attorney with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “I’m happy to be working toward a level of closure.”
The Legislature previously passed laws requiring the renaming of a list of geographic features that included the terms “Negro” or “squaw.” The state Board on Geographic Names has been working to find new names for such creeks, dams, lakes and other features. But black leaders in Sioux Falls told the board last fall that the term “Negro” is not offensive and should continue to be used to recognize South Dakota’s African-American heritage.
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously Friday for a bill that specifically declares the word “squaw” offensive and bans its use in place names. The bill also would remove references in previous law to specific features that were to be renamed because their names included the word “Negro.”
Porter Williams, curator of the South Dakota African American History Museum in Sioux Falls, said the measure was exactly what black leaders want.
“We did not want to diminish our history in South Dakota,” Williams said in a phone interview after the committee meeting.
The removal of “Negro” would be “erasing the history and contribution of African Americans,” said Sen. Chuck Jones, R-Flandreau, the bill’s main sponsor.
Jones, a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, said many people have misconceptions about Native Americans.
“Help me defeat that stereotype. I can’t do it by myself,” Jones told the committee.
Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, said the name-changing process can take too long and be arbitrary and complicated.
“I hope we can expedite the process in the future,” Rhoden said.
Creeks, dams, and other geographical features have already been renamed to replace the term “squaw.” A lake in Codington, for example, has been renamed as Serenity Lake.
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- D.C. police chief orders officers not to arrest legal gun owners carrying weapons in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq