How removing derogatory place names could increase respect for Arizona's Indigenous communities

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 11:28am
Updated: Friday, January 21, 2022 - 8:34am

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There are hundreds of federal land units that use names considered to be derogatory to Native Americans and Indigenous people.

According to the Board on Geographic Names, 67 of them are in Arizona. Not much movement has occurred to permanently change them until Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to lead the department, made it a higher priority.

Deb Haaland
U.S. Department of the Interior
Deb Haaland

She recently created the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names to point out which ones have derogatory names and find replacement titles for them.

The Show spoke with reporter Shondiin Silversmith, who wrote about the new committee in the Arizona Mirror. The conversation began by talking about the importance of Secretary Haaland's leadership on the issue.

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