17 Texas sites are dropping “pejorative” names. Here is the list and potential new names

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a plan in February to rename geographic locations containing the word “squaw,” which has been seen as a pejorative term, according to a press release. Under Secretary’s Order 3404 in November 2021, the department determined the term was pejorative because it is often used as an ethnic, racial and gender slur, particularly towards Indigenous women, according to the order.

There are more than 660 geographic locations in the United States that use the term, according to the DOI press release. According to a database of locations and potential replacements, there are 17 places in Texas using the term.

“Words matter, especially in our work to make our country’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” Secretary Deb Haaland, the First Secretary of the Native American Cabinet, said in the statement. “Reviewing these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms with long overdue expiration dates.”

The department said it was starting with a list of five candidate names for each slot as potential replacements. The names come from a search for nearby geographic features.

Tribal consultations on potential replacement names concluded on March 23, but the public can still submit comments until April 24, according to a DOI statement. The Derogatory Geographic Names Working Group will review the names and provide a final recommendation to the Geographic Names Board when it meets later this year, the DOI said.

Here are the renamed locations in Texas and their potential replacements.


Squaws Pacifier
Brewster County
Potential replacements: Musquiz Creek, Hatch Canyon Draw, Antelope Draw, Booster Mill Draw, Mah Pe Draw

Squaw Creek
Collingsworth County
Potential replacements: McIntosh Lake, O’Hair Springs, Club Lake, Club Spring, Parker Springs

Squaw Creek
Gillespie County, Mason County
Potential Replacements: Buckeye Point, Mund Hill, Lehmann Mountain, Brockmann Point, Flathead Point

Squaw Creek
Hardeman County
Potential replacements: Brooks Springs, Quanah Country Club North Lake, Quanah Country Club South Lake, Moffet Springs. Sources of sparks

Squaw Creek
Haskell County, Throckmorton County
Potential Replacements: Pea Ridge Reservoir, Elm Creek Reservoir, Millers Creek Reservoir, Big Wolf Reservoir, Elm Creek Reservoir

Squaw Creek
Hood County, Somervell County
Potential Replacements: Glen Lake, Bullman Pond, North Crites Lake, Faulkner Pond, Comanche Peak

Squaw Creek Reservoir
Hood County, Somervell County
Potential Replacements: Lollar Branch, Million Branch, Panther Branch, Panter Branch, Wheeler Branch

Squaw pass
Hudspeth County
Potential Replacements: Oxford Canyon, Oxford Spring, Eagle Mountains, Wilson Spring, Echo Canyon

Peak Squaw
Hudspeth County
Potential Replacements: Oxford Canyon, Oxford Spring, Wilson Spring, Echo Canyon, Eagle Mountains

Squaw Spring
Hudspeth County
Potential Replacements: Echo Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Oxford Canyon, Green River, Eagle Mountains

Squaw Spring
Hudspeth County
Potential replacements: Rio Grande, Gibson Reservoir, Mayfield Canyon, Red Bull Canyon, Indian Water Hole

Squaw Creek
Hudspeth County
Potential Replacements: Wilson Spring, Oxford Spring, Red Tank, Eagle Mountains, Van Horn Mountains

Squaw Mountain
Jack County
Potential replacements: Cameron Creek, Roper Branch, McBee Branch, Lynn Creek, West Fork Trinity River, Satanta Mountain

Squaw Mountains
Jack County
Potential Replacements: Cameron Creek, Roper Branch, McBee Branch, Lynn Creek, West Fork Trinity River

Squaw Creek
Parker County
Potential Replacements: Reservoir Number Twenty-Three, Lake Weatherford, Reservoir Number Twenty-One, Mary Springs, Reservoir Number Twenty-Two A

Peak Squaw
Pecos County
Potential replacements: Sheffield Draw, Pecos River, Musk Hog Canyon, Pecos Spring, Harkey Draw

Squawteat Peak
Pecos County
Potential replacements: Tunas Creek, Bootleg Canyon, Fourmile Draw, Upper Fourmile Draw, Harral Draw