(KTLA) — A racial slur used to identify hundreds of landmarks and geographic sites across the country is getting replaced.
The world will be scrubbed from close to 650 geographic features across the nation, bringing an end to hundreds of years of the offensive term being used in an official capacity.
The term (which the Department of the Interior refers to only as “sq—” in its most recent news release on the subject) has been used throughout history as an offensive ethnic and sexist term, particularly against Indigenous and Native women.
The effort to wipe the term from the American lexicon has been an ongoing battle for generations, but has gained steam after Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland established a task force to review and replace the term and ordered the federal body responsible for naming geographic places to no longer use it.
Haaland, who is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary in the nation, thanked the task force and the Board on Geographic Names for their cooperation and prioritization of the project.
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“I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long,” said Haaland in a news release.
Since the formation of the task force, more than a thousand different names had been recommended during public comment with input coming from historians and tribal leaders across the country.
The task force, which includes members of the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, were faced with a number of challenges.
They were tasked with evaluating the suggestions from both the public and Tribal leaders for geographic features that often landed in various different state, federal and tribal jurisdictions. They also had to evaluate inconsistent spelling of Native languages and evaluate the diverse array of opinions of those making recommendations.
Ultimately, nearly 650 geographic sites were renamed.