The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday they are starting the process of changing the names of three natural or manmade landmarks to remove a word they say is offensive to Native Americans.

The word "squaw" is to be removed, and names changed

In February 2022, the US Department of the Interior designated some 660 sites from coast to coast for name changes, removing words or names the Dept deemed to be defaming to Native Americans.

DNR says in Chelan County:

"The 5-acre lake west of Lake Wenatchee would be named Masawii Lake, a name proposed by a Wenatchi elder and submitted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation."  (the lake's original name was Squaw Lake). 

In Jefferson County:

"The passage between Marrowstone Island and Indian Island would be named Passage Through, the translation of the Clallam word “Scɬəqʷ.” This is a traditional place name for the passage"

And in Kittitas County:

"The nine-acre lake north of Cle Elum would be named Nosh Nosh Wahtum. The name, proposed by the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, translates to “Salamander Lake.”"  (like the one in Chelan, this lake is known as Squaw Lake)

The work is being done by the Washington State Committee on Geographic Names, which was actually created a number of years ago by the state legislature.

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