Federal Actions to Address Offensive or Derogatory Geographical Names [Updated September 12, 2022]   [open pdf - 723KB]

From the Document: "Some stakeholders [hyperlink] have brought renewed attention to names of geographical features in the United States that they identify as offensive or derogatory and have called for accelerated processes to rename these features. Generally, the process for federal renaming of geographical features involves public petition to the U.S. Board on Geographical Names [hyperlink] (BGN) for consideration on an individual basis, although Congress may enact legislation establishing or changing geographical names. On November 19, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) signed [hyperlink] two secretarial orders (SOs) to establish processes to remove derogatory names from federal geographic features and land units. [1] SO 3404 [hyperlink] formally identified the term 'squaw' as derogatory and directed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to find federal geographic names bearing the term and to chair a Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force to recommend replacement names to the BGN. [2] SO 3405 [hyperlink] directed the National Park Service (NPS) to form a discretionary Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names to broadly solicit, review, and recommend changes to derogatory federal geographic and land unit names. This Insight describes the BGN process for renaming federal geographic features, the Department of the Interior's (DOI's) progress on executing the SOs, and potential issues for Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN12000
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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