Squaw Valley in California
By Contested Histories Initiative •
The term ‘squaw’ (hereafter sq___) is widely considered an offensive, derogatory, racist and misogynistic word to refer to Native American women. In 2021, following the renaming of the Sq___ Valley ski resort in the unincorporated populated place in Olympic Valley in Placer County, California, to ‘Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort’, a petition was launched to change the name of the town of Sq___ Valley in Fresno County California by local Indigenous resident Roman Rain Tree. After two years of campaigning at the local, state, and national levels, the movement led by Rain Tree succeeded in getting the town’s name changed to Yokuts Valley in 2023. However, this campaign created serious division within the community, and many people are still opposed to the renaming.