MADISON, Wis. – The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is seeking public comment on replacement names for geographic feature names recently declared derogatory by DOI. The DOI is accepting comments from the public through April 25, 2022.

In November 2021, DOI Secretary Deb Haaland signed Secretarial Order 3404, declaring “squaw” a derogatory term and implementing procedures to remove the word from use on federal geographic features and lands, including establishing a task force.

Secretary Haaland also signed Secretarial Order 3405 in November 2021, addressing additional derogatory geographic names by creating the Federal Advisory Committee to solicit and recommend changes to other derogatory geographic and federal land unit names. That Committee has yet to be established.

There are currently 28 geographic features in Wisconsin that have been identified by the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force needing replacement names. Review the PDF list here or view the online interactive map here.

Historically, other derogatory words, including the N-word and a pejorative for “Japanese,” have been identified by past secretaries or the federal Board of Geographic Names and eliminated their use.

The public can submit comments by April 25, 2022 by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit written comments online at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2022-0001” in the Search bar and clicking “Search.”
  • Submit Comments By Mail To: Reconciliation of Derogatory Geographic Names, MS-511, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, VA 20192.

Note: All submissions must include Docket Number DOI-2022-0001. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
For Further Information

To request additional information about this notice, please submit your question or request to [email protected], or contact Michael Tischler at 703-344-4348.

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