“The English word squaw is an ethnic and sexual slur, historically used for Indigenous North American women. Contemporary use of the term, especially by non-Natives, is considered offensive, derogatory, misogynist and racist.”
According to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows CEO of, Ron Cohen, Squaw Valley is considering changing its name due to the word “squaw” being a racial slur.
We realize it is time to re-examine our use of the term “squaw” and will be evaluating the options. We are committed to doing the right thing and being part of the solution toward equality and respect.
– Ron Cohen, Squaw Alpine CEO told SnowBrains on 6/22/20
The acknowledgment that the word “squaw” as a racial slur is an old concept.
The removal of the word “squaw” from place-names has been going on for decades.
What would Squaw Valley change its name to if it was to change?
Likely “Olympic Valley” since that is already the name of the town that Squaw Valley ski resort resides within.
“The term ‘squaw’ was used, actually, throughout history in America to dehumanize the native people. By dehumanizing them and attaching a name to them like this, it allows them, in their minds, to be able to commit crimes against them without any guilt. Because they’re no longer a person, they’re a ‘squaw,’ they’re a name.”
“If we can get Squaw Valley re-done, or Squaw Resort, or any of that up there I think I can retire happy.”
– Darrel Cruz, the director for the Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the Washoe tribe of Nevada and California told the Sacramento Bee
Place-Names Changed From “Squaw” in the USA:
The word “squaw” has already been removed from place-names in the following states:
- South Dakota
In 1995, northern Minnesota removed the word “squaw” from 19 locations all over the state.
“Squaw Rock” on highway 101 in California was renamed “Frog Woman Rock” in 2011.
“Squaw Ridge” in the Sierra Nevada, CA was renamed “Hungaleti Ridge” in 2018.
Phoenix, AZ mayor Kate Gallego wants to change the name of 2 streets in Pheonix:
- Squaw Peak dr
- Robert E. Lee st