news releases

19 November 2021

Hispanic Access Applauds DOI Removing Derogatory Names from Federal Lands



Category: News Releases

Today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland established a review process to remove derogatory names of the nation’s federal lands. In response to the order, Hispanic Access Foundation’s President and CEO Maite Arce released the following statement:

“For too long, various of our nation’s geographic features had names that were offensive to our Native American communities. We applaud Sec. Haaland for establishing a review process and replacing derogatory names and for declaring ‘squaw’ as a derogatory term to be removed from federal usage.

“Our natural treasures share deep historical, architectural and cultural significance that should not be represented through racist terms. We hope the new process implemented by the Department of Interior will establish names that embody and honor the rich history of these places.

“We all share a strong moral obligation to be good stewards of our public lands and waters and to intentionally preserve and celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up this nation. We hope to continue working with the administration to protect landscapes across the country so future generations can benefit from our public lands, waters and ocean.”

In March 2021, the Senate confirmed former New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Department of Interior. Since then, she has taken endless steps to not only protect our nation’s lands and waters, but also to ensure underserved communities can one day also benefit from accessing nature equitably.

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