The word "squaw", a term designating an indigenous woman but which has taken on a pejorative connotation, is close to disappearing from hundreds of place names in the United States, American authorities announced on Friday.
At the end of a work started in February, a special commission has completed the examination of more than 650 toponyms containing the word "squaw" and proposed replacement names, said the Ministry of the Interior, the body responsible for administer federal lands.
It is now up to the Geographical Names Bureau, which will vote in September, to ratify these name changes.
"I am grateful to the Derogatory Geographical Names Commission for their work in ensuring that racist words like sq... no longer have a place on federal lands," said US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. who is an aboriginal herself.
Note that the ministry uses the spelling "sq..." and is careful not to write the full word, as is sometimes customary for particularly offensive or vulgar expressions.