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SD Senate Moves To Discard 'Squaw,' Keep 'Negro'

February 5, 2014, 5:13 AM

SD Senate Moves To Discard 'Squaw,' Keep 'Negro'

The South Dakota Senate has unanimously approved a bill banning the word "squaw" and allowing the word "Negro" in the state's place names.

Legislators approved the measure Tuesday.

The Legislature previously ruled that both terms should be removed from all names of South Dakota's creeks, lakes, buttes and other geographic features.

But African American leaders argued that the term "Negro" is not offensive and removing it from names would harm the legacy of African Americans in the state.

All but six features that included "squaw" in their names have been renamed, says the bill's sponsor Chuck Jones, a Flandreau Republican. The remaining six await federal approval.

The bill now heads to the state's House for a vote.

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