Removing Derogatory Terminology from Federal Usage
On November 19, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally declared 'sq___' to be a derogatory term and initiated an effort to remove the term from federal usage. The term has historically been used as an offensive ethnic, racial and sexist slur, particularly for Indigenous women.
More than 660 federal land units were found to contain the term, according to a database maintained by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Of these, 150 features are entirely or partially located on BLM-managed surface lands.
The Secretary's Order established a task force to find replacement names for geographic features bearing the term, and after a year-long process that included public involvement and consultation with Tribes, the BGN approved new official names for 643 geographic features and seven unincorporated populated places.
The BLM is working to meet its responsibilities to implement the Secretary's Order and the subsequent name-changes in online content, maps, signs, other printed materials, and in official usage related to sites the agency administers.
Please check this page for updates on our progress.